Amazon has opened its 3.6 million-square-foot fulfillment center in Mt. Juliet that is as spacious inside as its 92-foot tall exterior looks on the outside.
The five-story building on Golden Bear Gateway at East Division is full of robotics and other high-tech gadgets with Amazon’s emphasis on safety programs.
“Anyone is empowered to raise their hand and say something is not a safe process,” building General Manager Rajat Kapoor said.
Thirty percent of leadership managers in Mt. Juliet started as entry level workers, Kapoor said.
The company plans to hire more than 1,000 full-time employees and ramp up to around 3,000 workers overall in Mt. Juliet.
The size of the fulfillment center does not mean big products.
Mt. Juliet’s fulfillment center is dedicated to shipping smaller product, generally maxed out at 18 inches-by-18 inches. Employee Robert Emerson received the first item in Mt. Juliet — a Little Tikes Mighty Blasters toy.
Amazon has an another fulfillment center in Lebanon that is about 1 million square feet and dedicated to larger products.
How big is it?
- About 13 football fields can fit on each floor of the footprint of the new fulfillment center.
- More than 12 miles of conveyor.
- Around 40,000 totes, which are boxes used to move products within the facility.
- 25 miles of wiring.
- 95,000 cubic yards of building concrete.
- 15,800 tons of structural steel.
- Hundreds of robotic drive units move product in tandem with employees within the facility. Sensors also enable robotics to keep from running into workers onsite.
- Computer screens that tell packers what box to build for each product.
- Andon machines at stations that allow workers to press a red button for help, a blue button when supplies are needed and a green button for everything is good.
- Scanners that track inventory.
- Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT) are vehicles with designated drivers that allow workers to reach products on high shelves and move items more difficult to carry.
“Our employees coming into this facility, all of our new hires, they won’t be required to have all of these skills from the very beginning,” Amazon spokesperson Courtney Johnson Norman said. “In fact we have an entire learning team here on site that will help to set up for success.”
More growth: At least 7 more buildings and second Amazon site coming to Wilson County’s Speedway Industrial Park
The Mt. Juliet facility is hiring full-time positions that starts employees at $15.50 per hour with comprehensive benefits. Candidates can apply online at www.amazon.com/tennesseehourlyjobs.
- WorkingWell is a new program within Amazon launched in the last year that will be part of the Mt. Juliet plant. WorkingWell focuses on safety, injury prevention and overall wellness for employees.
- Mind & Body Moments are hourly prompts employees receive at workstations that guide them on a series of exercises to help recharge and reenergize and to aid in injury prevention. The program has piloted at several Amazon sites. Stretching, breathing exercises and mental reflections are part among the activities.
- Employees do a series of stretches and movements related to their job at the start of their shift. Supervisors can also lead workers to participate in a group session in conjunction with a wellness video.
- Efforts to set up ergonomically correct work stations according to the task such as mats that reduce fatigue for workers stand on for long periods and equipment and supplies to limit awkward movements.
- All types of Personal Protective Equipment are available throughout the facility in what looks like vending machines.
- Overhead metal bars are positioned to keep robotics stacked with products falling.
- Support team personnel monitor the stations and work areas to make sure employees have what they need and are working safely.
- A wellness center with experts is available for workers as needed.
Reach Andy Humbles at ahumb[email protected] or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.