Online retail giant Amazon announced two years ago it planned to start up a new massive distribution center in the Grand Rapids area. It opened this week.  Amazon refers to the new facility as a fulfillment center. That’s the new way many companies refer to product distribution sites. A couple of hundred employees are working there and within a year the employment roll is expected to hit one thousand.  It’s an 850 thousand square foot building with loading docs to allow trucks to easily get in and out.  The site is just a few miles south of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. So far, employees are involved with a workup at the site, getting used to how the product packing and shipping lines use both people and automated machines to get things accomplished. Amazon says the lowest-paid employees there are at $15 an hour. Amazon secured a $4 million dollar grant from the state strategic fund to help with the project finances.

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