Amazon to open second Pasco County facility with robotic sorting

Amazon has announced plans to open a second distribution site in Pasco County located at the Eagle Industrial Park off State Road 52. Company officials say the fast-growing community is ideal for labor needs and demand, but the location is not the only thing that will make the new site stand out.

The 517,220-square-foot site will support a 100% robotics-based sorting system, also known as an Amazon Robotic Sortation Center (ARSC).

MORE: First look at Amazon's state-of-the-art fulfillment center in Temple Terrace

Amazon has created new roles in robot management within its sorting centers, and those specialists receive on-the-job training to learn how the robots work, how they're programed, and how they read and navigate the center floor.

"It's a different kind of job. It's not your typical sorters and packers, definitely higher wage jobs, higher skilled jobs, something that fits really well with our career academies focused on robotics and some of our apprenticeship programs. So these are the ones that are competitive. I think everybody wants this kind of Amazon project in their backyard," said Bill Cronin, president and CEO of Pasco EDC.

The site will also bring 500 new jobs, 300 of which will be full-time. Economic leaders believe this will open the doors for more high-paying jobs in the area.

"I'm especially excited about the fact that it's going to work really well with our workforce programs and in the future generations that are being schooled on things like robotics. Now they have something that they can see in their own backyard as a place to go work instead of going off somewhere else," Cronin said.

The property is part of the Pasco County Ready Sites Program. It’s funded through Penny for Pasco and assesses, evaluates, and certifies large lots of land for industrial development. 

"We had to get the landowners to pay attention to holding that land so that we weren't just a residential community and it worked," Cronin said.

Amazon is expected to break ground soon and have the facility up and running in 11 months.