If there’s such a thing as a silver lining to the pandemic, it may be materializing in Los Lunas.
Amazon eclipsed Walmart last fall to become the world’s largest retail seller outside of China, according to The New York Times.
Analysts credit an increased reliance on e-commerce during the pandemic for Amazon’s massive expansion. And the retail giant’s need for more distribution space led to a fast-moving plan to build a massive fulfillment center in Los Lunas, which should eventually hire more than 600 full-time workers.
The announcement comes a little less than two years after Amazon broke ground on its first New Mexico fulfillment center on Albuquerque’s West Side, which the company said currently employs about 3,500 part-time and full-time employees.
Workers at the Los Lunas facility will pick, pack and ship items for delivery, and can expect an average starting wage of $15 per hour, slightly better than the current average wage in Los Lunas’ industrial parks of about $13.50 per hour.
Amazon did not seek any public incentives for the site and the operation will have minimal water needs.
Amazon has endured much scrutiny over treatment of warehouse workers. But Los Lunas officials are excited by the investment, promise of hundreds of jobs and a total economic impact of $300 million.
“Our ability to create more employment opportunities for our local families could not have come at a better time and we are beyond excited to have Amazon become another great community partner,” Mayor Charles Griego said in a prepared statement.
Los Lunas is fulfilling a decadeslong vision of establishing a vibrant industrial corridor.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.