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Amazon begins hiring managers for distribution center near Meadows Field Airport

20190707-bc-7thStandard

In this July file photo, construction continues at the Amazon "fulfillment center" along Merle Haggard Drive.

Management-level hiring has begun at Amazon's large new distribution center near Meadows Field Airport as the company prepares to launch local operations in spring or summer of 2020.

The e-commerce giant has posted at least half a dozen Bakersfield openings online, one as long ago as July and one as recent as Dec. 17. The positions range from a senior on-site human relations manager to an information technology manager.

None of the jobs listed at the company's employment portal, https://www.amazon.jobs/en, are for the kind of blue-collar, warehousing-type positions expected to make up the majority of employment at the building on the north side of Merle Haggard Drive.

A company spokeswoman said by email Friday that the bulk of the positions being created at the site will be filled in spring, one to two months before the operation launches. She declined to elaborate.

Amazon has said it intends to create 1,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs paying at least $15 per hour at a new, four-floor "fulfillment center" that measures, by the company's estimate, 640,000 square feet. The building near Meadows Field is expected to house robots that will work with humans.

The site is one of many distribution centers Amazon operates across the country. They receive and warehouse a wide selection of products that customers nearby can order online in expectation of speedy delivery.

The company said in August that fulfillment center operations typically commence 18 months to two years after the project is announced. That could suggest the launch will take place as late as August.

In November 2018, Kern's Board of Supervisors offered Amazon $3 million in local tax rebates in exchange for employing 1,000 county residents at an average wage of $31,000 per year at the distribution center. The subsidy package would award the company annual refunds expected to total $575,000 for 11 years.

John Cox can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf. Sign up at Bakersfield.com for free newsletters about local news.

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