Governor JB Prizker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle made the official announcement Monday morning from Matteson, which is where one of the fulfillment centers will be located. The other will be located in Markham.
There are 13 Amazon centers throughout the state already employing about 18,000 Illinois residents. The two new facilities will each hire 1,000 new local workers, according to Amazon, for full-time positions paying $15 an hour.
These 2,000 jobs do not even include the construction jobs that will be needed to build these facilities.
This annoucnement is being hailed as a much needed boost to the local economy. The investment comes at critical time during the pandemic. The southland area is in need of economic recovery. It has seen high unemployment rates as result of coronavirus.
Preckwinkle urged Amazon to employ a diverse workforce from these neighborhoods. The southland area has struggled historically, and has often been overlooked in terms of economic development.
“We are beginning a new era of economic development in the southland, and it’s exciting, and it’s about time,” said Sate Rep. Debbie Meyers-Martin (D-38th District).
There was also a lot of talk about the area needing a new, more accessible airport for companies like Amazon. While a lot of pressure was put on the governor about this, so far there’s no commitment.
There’s no word yet on when construction will begin on these fulfillment centers.