By Fred Petke
1:20 PM EDT, March 13, 2013
Amazon’s decision to build a customer service center in Winchester earned an award from a national magazine for investment and community impact.
Trade &¿Industry Development magazine listed Amazon, General Electric in Louisville and Berry Plastics in Madisonville among the nation’s top 30 economic development projects from 2012 and winners of the magazine’s Corporate Investment & Community Impact Awards.
Amazon, which is building a new 70,000 square-foot facility in the industrial park, expects to hire a permanent workforce of 550 with another 600 seasonal and part-time jobs by 2017. Winchester isAmazon’s only customer service center in Kentucky.
“It’s a testament to how big Amazon’s impact will be on the community,” Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said. “Amazon has already made its mark in the community by working with the schools and Little League baseball.
“We’re very pleased to have the jobs ... but we’re also pleased to have a good corporate citizen.”
Of the three Kentucky projects, Amazon’s was the only one that was a new project from the ground up.
GE’s plant in Louisville launched several new product lines and added 3,000 new jobs, according to a statement from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office. Berry Plastics reopened its Madisonville facility after closing it earlier in 2012 and reallocating production to other plants in Kentucky. The company later decided to begin operations again after investing $96 million and creating 400 new jobs.
“These awards not only recognize the growth and success of these companies, but they also honor the Commonwealth and our dedication to economic development as a whole,” said Beshear in a statement. “From Berry Plastics in Madisonville, GE in Louisville, to Amazon in Winchester, these three distinct regions in Kentucky are showing their ability to earn national and international attention and recognition.”
The awards, first given in 2006, recognize corporate investment and projects with sizable community impact.
Contact Fred Petke at email@example.com.