LAFAYETTE, La. (Daily Advertiser) — Gov. John Bel Edwards announced on Dec. 22 that Amazon would be building Louisiana’s first fulfillment center in Lafayette Parish — a move that could bring hundreds of jobs to the region.

The Amazon news was one of three significant economic development wins for Lafayette Parish in 2020. Lafayette Economic Development Authority President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux said Amazon’s decision was “a big win for Carencro, Lafayette Parish and our Acadiana people.”

Here’s what we know about the fulfillment center:

What is a fulfillment center?

Amazon has two types of fulfillment centers, which generally are facilities where employees pick, pack and ship items that are ordered through Amazon.

One type is a sortable fulfillment center, which averages 800,000 square feet and can employ up to 1,500 employees. These facilities tend to work with smaller merchandise, such as books, toys and housewares.

Lafayette Parish’s fulfillment center will be a non-sortable fulfillment center, which means it works with larger, bulkier items, such as patio furniture, outdoor equipment and rugs. These facilities are typically larger, ranging from 800,000 square feet to 1 million square feet.

Where will the Louisiana fulfillment center be located?

The Amazon facility will be built at the former Evangeline Downs site in Carencro. The site gives Amazon access to Interstates 49 and 10, which gives it access to Louisiana’s markets.

While this will be the first fulfillment center in Louisiana, Amazon has branched into the state for years. Louisiana has seven Whole Foods Market locations, including one in Lafayette, and has delivery stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Amazon also has an Amazon Air logistics gateway at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. The company has 1,500 workers statewide, according to the governor’s office.

What will the fulfillment center look like?

Based on Amazon’s description of its non-sortable fulfillment centers, the Carencro facility will be on the larger end. The fulfillment center is expected to be around 1-million square feet and cover about 120 acres.

Amazon is spending nearly $100 million on the facility.

How many jobs will the facility bring?

Amazon is expected to hire about 500 employees for the fulfillment center, with a total payroll of nearly $16 million. That averages out to about $32,000 per employee. Lafayette Parish’s average annual personal income is around $49,630, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The project is estimated to bring 982 indirect jobs, for a total of about 1,400 new jobs in the Acadiana region. 

The facility is expected to begin operations near the end of 2021, so hiring will likely begin a few months prior to officially opening.

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