Take a tour inside Amazon's robotic fulfillment center in Elkhart County

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind.-- Work is underway for an Amazon Robotic Fulfillment Center in Elkhart County near Bristol. 

After Amazon announced an $11 billion facility in New Carlisle, many raised their eyebrows at the status of the Elkhart County project.

Thursday, Amazon leaders invited county officials and media to reassure the public that work is being done. 

Kyle Degliulio, senior manager of economic development policy for Amazon, led the tour. 

"This is going to be a very important, strategic location for us," he said. 

The facility promises state-of-the-art robotics and a high job count for the community. About 1,000 workers are needed to build the facility, and Amazon will employ about 1,000 full-time workers once operational.

"Right now, average starting wage is $20.50 an hour for those 1,000 jobs, and those jobs are inclusive of benefits," Degliulio said. 

He explained most jobs do not require a bachelor's degree, and workers can utilize Amazon's Career Choice Program.

"As far as the bulk of our workforce, it's supporting the primary function of the building, which is receiving and shipping items," Degliulio said.

It is what's called a "first mile" facility, so workers will get packages ready for delivery, but they won't be delivered from this location. They will be moved to "middle mile" or "last mile" facilities to then finally be delivered.

The 800,000 sq ft facility will hold about 10 miles of conveyor belt, not to mention thousands of robots. 

"All of the robotics that we have in this building are there to assist our employees, not to replace them. So, the employees that will be working in this building will be working alongside robots and other technology on the inbound receiving of inventory, the outbound fulfilment of packages to customers, all supported by robots," Degliulio said. "The primary robots that support the associates in this building are mobile, they're in a secured off area where associates only interact outside in a secure, fenced-in area, but that's where the inventory is stored, and that's where the robots move the inventory around the building to the associates to pack and stow."

The projected opening of the facility is fall 2025. 

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