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Amazon’s Waukegan facility to open this summer, mayor says

Operations at the Amazon Romeoville fulfillment center in Romeoville on Thursday June 8, 2017.

A tentative time line has been set for the opening of a new Amazon distribution center in Waukegan that could bring 400 full-time jobs, the city’s mayor said.

The new distribution center is on track for a summer opening, tentatively set for July 30, Mayor Sam Cunningham said Monday evening, just hours after a meeting with Lake County Workforce Development Department staff, city staff and Amazon representatives.

The plan is for the Lake County Workforce Development Department to facilitate interviewing and training for the online shopping company, Cunningham said in an interview Thursday.

Cunningham said the company plans on filling at least 400 full-time positions as well as additional part-time jobs at the Waukegan location, a number that is larger than the 100 full-time position originally floated publicly by Amazon in December.

"[T]he (Waukegan) facility will create more than 100 jobs for full-time employees who will pick, pack and ship larger items, like big-screen televisions," Amazon spokesman Nina Lindsey said at the time.

The numbers have since been updated and may changed based on the "volume and scope" of what Amazon wants the facility to handle, Cunningham said.

Amazon did not return a request for comment.

Cunningham said what he really likes about the jobs being created is that they will vary in skill level, opening up opportunities for unskilled laborers and those with forklift certification.

That’s "very rare in this day’s environment," he said.

Amazon plans on occupying a 625,848-square-foot facility built by Bridge Development Partners at 1750 Bridge Drive, according to comments made by Steve Groetsema, a principal with the company, at a December City Council meeting.

Amazon also previously announced plans to add warehouses in Joliet, Romeoville and Monee.