ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) -Amazon announced plans to hire125,000 workers across the country, including roughly 4,000 in the Hoosier State.
Rumors are swirling that Amazon could be the currently unnamed company behind the Winnie Project in Elkhart County that could bring 1,800 jobs to Michiana.
16 News Now spoke to Amazon’s Vice President of Operations on a Zoom call to find out if there’s any truth to the rumors.
On Saturday, the Elkhart County Council voted 4-2 in favor of a tax break for the company behind the Winnie Project–the last hurdle in an effort to bring a $250 million investment and 1,800 jobs to the area.
Amazon is rumored to be the company behind the investment and employment opportunities.
While their Vice President of Operation Dave Bozeman told me they’ve been growing their network across the country, he couldn’t confirm if that included building in Elkhart County or if they’re behind the Winnie Project.
“We’ve actually launched roughly 250 various buildings so far this year. We’re actually building roughly 100 buildings and facilities in September alone. To learn more about the specific of where those roles will be, but I’m going to ask your viewers to go to amazon.com/apply,” Amazon Vice President of Operations Dave Bozeman.
The Amazon jobs page didn’t list any job openings in Elkhart County. Only one role showed up in Michiana for a delivery station warehouse associate in South Bend. That position was no longer available when we checked the website Tuesday afternoon.
Regardless of who might move into the proposed 5-story automation equipped distribution center, the two council members who voted no questioned whether there are enough workers to take the estimated 1,800 new jobs.
The Elkhart unemployment rate reached its lowest point of the year in July, the most recent data point, at just 2.9 percent.
If Amazon adds more jobs in Elkhart County, Bozeman says their wages and benefits will make them competitive for talent.
“We’re going to put in competitive wages and good jobs. We think this gives people awesome options when it comes to getting back in the workplace. Amazon is the place to be. We think by announcing 125,000 jobs at $18-22.50/hour with great benefits is the way to start,” he said.
Whether those jobs are related to the Winnie Project remains unclear.
It’s also not a guarantee anything will get developed in Elkhart County. The company is considering either Elkhart or Grand Rapids for the Winnie Project’s final location.
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