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First trucks leave Amazon 'last-mile' delivery center in Broome County

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG)—Operations at Amazon’s first facility in Broome County are underway.

The first trucks left the tech-giant’s distribution center, located just south of Binghamton in Conklin, last week. The warehouse is meant to bridge the “last mile” of delivery to customers.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar said the facility will bring a couple hundred jobs to the area.

Not all jobs are filled yet. Garnar said Amazon will ramp up hiring efforts as the holidays approach.

“What they had told me was that they’re certainly not at 100% capacity," Garnar explained. “They just started, but they will be ramping up hiring, especially as we get into the Christmas holiday shopping season.”

According to Garnar, the company has been working with the county’s Office of Employment and Training to recruit warehouse hires.

People can also sign up to work for Amazon through its app-based delivery program, Amazon Flex. Employees choose when and for how long to work, and deliver packages from their own vehicles.

“[People] want to add a little income to make a little bit more money, so this is a really flexible way of doing that,” Garnar said.

The county executive said Flex could be a good option for those who want a second job or can only work for two to four hours each day.

But Flex workers must provide their own vehicle, and since they are hired as independent contractors, they do not get the same kinds of benefits as Amazon’s other employees, like workers’ compensation or health benefits.

Amazon did not immediately respond to WSKG’s questions about how many positions will be hired for or what percent of those positions will be seasonal or permanent.

Garnar said the facility will deliver packages within a close to 30-mile radius.