Amazon facility comes to Kern County

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Amazon facility comes to Kern County“We’re so excited! We just can’t hide it! Amazon is coming to Kern County!” Last week’s enthusiastic announcement confirmed reports that the online shopping giant had closed escrow on a fulfillment center near Meadows Field Airport.

The operation will bring an estimated 1,000 new jobs to the county, with potential growth in the future.

“Permitting is done, and they’re breaking ground on a 2-million-square-foot facility,” said the post on Kern County’s official Facebook page.

Kern Countywide Communica-tions Director Megan Person said that in addition to the new and uncalculated indirect jobs tied to construction and support industries, the new development will boost the county’s profile.

“The addition of Amazon to our economic landscape not only improves our resilience, it increases our visibility to other businesses considering Kern County. Amazon is known for their rigorous selection process, and we’re proud and honored that they chose to locate in Kern County,” she said.

“We’ve seen the additional business that came to other counties when Amazon located there, and we hope to see a similar trend here.”

The news comes hot on the heels of an announcement that L’Oréal has also opened up operations in the Tejon Ranch Commerce Center, providing another significant revenue generator to operate within the county.

Kern County declared a state of fiscal emergency when oil prices plummeted from about $100 a barrel to about $35 in January 2015. In November 207, the board of supervisors approved a new economic incentive plan called Advance Kern, which removes the caps the county could offer to prospective business and gives the board discretion to weigh prospects on an individual basis.

“Diversifying our economic landscape is extremely important to Kern County,” said Person. “Agriculture and oil and gas are a huge part of our success story here. However, we also learned that we need to be more diverse to weather the ups and downs any one industry experiences.”

She noted that Kern has added several sectors to the industries the county is trying to attract.

“In East Kern we have incredible opportunities with the aerospace and defense sector. We hope to see the work with Advance Kern and Kern Economic Development Corporation begin to bring new opportunities to East Kern Region.”

Story First Published: 2018-08-31