ROCKFORD, Tenn. (WATE) — The wait is finally over for Blount County as the new massive Amazon facility “TYS1” has officially opened.
It’s a big day for Blount County and it’s being welcomed with a big facility, but big isn’t the best word to describe it. “TYS1” is three million sq. ft. of boxes, products, and conveyer belts inside the Amazon facility. It’s bringing a lot more to the community than packages.
“Anytime we open facility like this in a community, the job creation impact is certainly meaningful to the community as well as the capital investment we make in the physical structure and the equipment you see inside,” Senior manager of economic development Jessica Breaux said. “We have more than 1,000 full-time associates working in this facility currently and our investment on the project was upwards of $200 million.”
With those 1,000 or so associates, more are expected to be hired in the near future.
“We are also hiring more than 1,000 roles to ramp up our head count as we ramp up the capacity for this building,” Site General Manager Abhishek Gowriahankar said. “We are very excited to be in this particular area and improving the speeds for customer packages all in Eastern Tennessee.”
This one facility has the ability to crank out seven million packages a week. It’s also the first stop for all packages in the area, known as the first mile. For those in Blount County, it’s been a long time coming.
“It’s been a labor of love. On behalf of the county and the city of Alcoa and the neighborhood here, they deserve some atta boys,” Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell said. “They’ve been dealing with construction for quiet a few years but the end result is this beautiful building.”
That building means jobs. Amazon employees also have the ability to expand their careers through the company’s Career Choice program.
“Career Choice is Amazon’s professional educational development program. After an employee has been with the company for 90 days we will provide full tuition for them to go back to school and pursue a certificate or degree,” Breaux said.
The facility houses between four and five thousand robots that help sort, pick and ship these packages.
It is named after McGhee Tyson Airport and its TYS airport code. The building has five floors with close to 16 miles of conveyer belts and can move up to one million packages a day.