Amazon opened a new fulfillment center in Staten Island where employees and robots will interact to carry out operations, creating 2,250 full-time jobs.
“We are excited to bring our first fulfillment center to New York and work alongside the state’s incredible workforce,” customer fulfillment VP Sanjay Shah said in a press release. “The support of local leaders has been instrumental in our ability to come to New York and we are grateful for the welcome we’ve received to bring thousands of new jobs with benefits starting on day one.”
Developed by Matrix Development Group, the project in Staten Island will house automation technology, including machines from Amazon Robotics, to help fulfill customer orders. Employees at the center will be working alongside the robots in picking, packing and shipping the orders.
“Amazon’s decision to establish the first state-of-the-art fulfillment center in New York affirms our position at the forefront of the growing global innovation economy and this investment will create thousands of jobs and opportunities for the Staten Island community,” governor Andrew M. Cuomo said. “New York continues to demonstrate that we have the workforce, technology, and the pro-business climate to help companies grow and succeed.”
Kiva Systems, purchased by Amazon in 2012 and renamed Amazon Robotics, originally designed the automation machines used in Amazon facilities. The company has now deployed more than 100,000 robots in centers worldwide.
In some Amazon warehouses – such as those in Florence, New Jersey or Kent, Wash. – robots and humans have been cooperating since the tasks previously performed by employees like stacking and carrying boxes were automated.
While robots carry thousands of pounds of merchandise around the floor, employees stock inventory, pick items off shelves, and pack them into boxes for customer orders. But the introduction of robots also offered employees technical job opportunities as Amazon provided classes for employees interested in becoming robot operators. Ultimately, no employees were laid off after Amazon automated the Florence facility.