As Amazon grows, so will Lexington County workforce

New jobs coming

Amazon is on a hiring binge.

In January, the gigantic on-line retailer announced it had plans to hire 100,000 new employees corporation-wide by mid-2018.

Lexington County Amazon Fulfillment Center in Lexington County.. (Photo Terry Ward)

The Lexington County Amazon Fulfillment Center is in West Columbia, in the Saxe Gotha Industrial Park, just outside of Cayce. It has accounted for the 2,000 or more jobs promised when Amazon decided to come. And that has not gone unnoticed.

Lexington County Council Chairman Todd Cullum, of Cayce, said he is pleased with the growth of Amazon in the county.

“Amazon has far exceeded our expectations,” Cullum said. The large on-line retailer was offered incentives by the county to locate in Lexington County.

Cullum said the investment has been worth the return. “Amazon is truly a success story for the economic development of Lexington County,” he said.  “In job creation alone it has been a tremendous success.”

And some of the new 100,000 jobs announced will be local, but Amazon is not giving details.

“Yes, that hiring plan will include hiring in South Carolina, but I don’t have specifics beyond that,” said Lauren Lynch, Amazon spokeswoman.

There are two other Amazon facilities in the state, but half or more of all Amazon employees in South Carolina work in Lexington County according to Lynch.

“I can tell you that Amazon has more than 4,000 employees in South Carolina; which include our locations in Spartanburg, West Columbia and North Charleston,” Lynch said. ” In West Columbia specifically, there are more than 2,000 employees picking, packing and shipping customer orders.”

Amazon is planning to move its book-making operation to Lexington County, too.

The one-million-sq.-ft facility sits on 60 acres on 12th Street Extension. Job-seekers have not been the only beneficiaries. In the first year after Amazon was built, the county received $1 million in property tax revenues from it. That amount has grown and the money goes to the county’s school districts.