SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Amazon has built a fulfillment center along the border that’s bigger than the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The more than 3 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Otay Mesa, southeast of downtown San Diego, will employ 1,500 people from both sides of the border.
“By far our largest industrial building, it’s 3.3-million square feet, four floors,” said Alejandra Mier y Teran, executive director for the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce. “It means obviously more jobs, it means more business for our service providers and it means better Amazon service for our cross border community.”
Mier y Teran said the new Amazon facility will make the San Diego-Tijuana region even stronger.
“We’ve learned last few months, even before Amazon came here, is that the San Diego-Tijuana border is actually the hub of e-commerce along U.S-Mexico border, which is quite interesting because we’re not in the middle of the U.S.-Mexico border,” she said.
The fulfillment center has already begun operations, but its grand opening isn’t expected until next week.
“It is poised for people who are living in Tijuana, who are U.S. citizens to work here, it’s an easy commute for them, it’s an easy commute for anyone in south county,” Mier y Teran said.
The company is still in the process of hiring personnel and has advertised jobs starting at $15 per hour.
Some have been critical that it’s not enough to make ends meet in a city as expensive as San Diego.
Back in July, Phil Blair, executive officer of San Diego staffing agency Manpower, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the starting pay may be an issue for Amazon. He said businesses across San Diego County are struggling to find new employees despite higher pay and benefits.
“If they are paying $15 an hour, that is not enough in this job market,” Blair told the Tribune. “The going rate is more like $17, $18, $20 an hour.”
According to Amazon’s recruiting materials, it is providing competitive benefits packages offering full-time employees full medical, vision and dental insurance starting on the first day on the job. And workers reportedly get 401(k) with a 50 percent match.
The company’s fulfillment center in Otay Mesa will also employ the use of robots and other technology.
“It’s exciting to learn about the technology, learn about what they’re doing obviously a company that’s very innovative and we look forward to having them in Otay Mesa, said Mier y Teran.
Amazon is also getting ready to open another much smaller warehouse facility in Tijuana to serve the Northern Baja California market.