Amazon breaking ground on Birmingham-area facility

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BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) -- Amazon is marking the start of work on a distribution center that will employ about 1,500 people near Birmingham.

A groundbreaking ceremony is set for Tuesday afternoon at the site of Amazon's new facility in Bessemer. Workers at the $325 million center will use robots to fulfill Amazon orders for smaller consumer items.

Employees of the online retailer will receive full benefits and an average hourly wage of $14.65, and Jefferson County Commission David Carrington says the project could help convince young people to stay in the area.

Gov. Kay Ivey is among the officials scheduled to attend the groundbreaking.

The fulfillment center will be Amazon's second facility in Alabama. It already operates a sorting center in Mobile.