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By Rachel Burchfield
Birmingham Business Alliance
In the 1980s, after Pullman Standard closed its manufacturing plant in Bessemer, unemployment in the bedroom community of Birmingham reached a record high of 36%.
It’s a different story today, said Mayor Kenneth Gulley. In a city once known for rail car and steel manufacturing, Bessemer has become a center of automotive supplier activity and a logistics hub, kicked off by Amazon building the state’s first best-in-class robotic fulfillment center in 2020, which spurred other big names to join the corridor.
Less than a year after opening its $320 million facility in Bessemer, Amazon employs 6,000 people at the center. And its roots in Birmingham are getting deeper. Since last month, Amazon has announced the addition of three delivery stations – one at the site of a former shopping mall and another dedicated to heavy and bulk deliveries. These investments have not only boosted gross domestic product in Jefferson County, but set a higher standard for warehouse and distribution wages and helped solidify the region as a major distribution hub in the Southeast.
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