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Amazon announces Oct. 1 opening date for Southwold fulfillment centre

Aug 10, 2023

Amazon Canada today (Wednesday) announced its fulfillment centre north of Talbotville will open on Oct. 1.

Hiring for the two-million-square-foot facility will begin in September.

It is welcome news for Southwold Mayor Grant Jones.

The intent is to hire more than 1,000 regular full-time employees who will work alongside state-of-the-art robotics technology to process up to 750,000 items a day.

An unanswered question at this time is will there be provisions to offer transit service or ride-sharing to the facility?

The centre is not be accessible by public transit, proving a barrier to these individuals seeking employment who do not have a vehicle or are a one-vehicle family.

Jones says that has yet to be worked out.

Sean Dyke, CEO of St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation Dyke cited the example of a firm in the Listowel area.

“There is a company there called Listowel Technologies, a Japanese auto parts maker and they actually shuttle people in from the Kitchener-Waterloo area to get to work.

“They pay for that. It wouldn’t be unheard of for companies to do that. Obviously, there is a cost to that but you get the labour force that you need.”

The facility opening this fall is just the beginning, promises Jones.

With new residential development in and around Talbotville, Jones says it will be a challenging couple of years coming up for Southwold council.

The massive fulfillment centre occupies the site of the former Ford Canada St. Thomas Assembly Plant which closed in 2011.

In a media release Harsh Khaitan, the company’s director of regional operations noted, “Amazon is committed to supporting the long-term economic vibrancy of Southwold Township.

“By creating more than 1,000 good jobs and deploying our world-class logistics technology, we look forward to supporting this community and continuing to deliver exceptional service to our customers.”

Written by Ian McCallum