Walmart is opening a consolidation center and warehouse in Colton, which will bring over 600 jobs by 2021.
KVCR's Danielle Fox has more.
Walmart is opening a consolidation center and warehouse in Colton this July, which will bring over 600 jobs by 2021. The 340,000 square foot facility will initially employ 150 full-time associates with a base salary starting above $15 per hour.
Walmart spokeswoman Michelle Malashock said the large majority of jobs will be full-time. “I would say north of 95 percent will be full-time, and that’s pretty typical for a Walmart consolidation center.”
A consolidation center is basically the middleman between Walmart’s merchandise suppliers and its regional distribution centers. The facility located at 1600 Agua Mansa will be the company’s first consolidation center that uses automated technology to receive, sort, and ship merchandise. This means, it’ll be able to handle around three to four times more volume of goods.
“We’re really excited to come to Colton. This is a great, strategic place for us to be in the country for the supply chain,” said Malashock.
She added that the Inland Empire is a great choice for this new center because it will be close to many of Walmart’s suppliers, so merchandise won’t have to travel as far.
“What’s really important to us is that this allows us to get merchandise to our stores faster than ever, which means better in stock for our customers, and it takes a lot of money out of the supply chain when we’re more efficient and leaves better prices for our customers,” she said.
But some community members are concerned about the new center. Anthony Victoria, who works for the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice, said while he’s glad the facility will be located in an industrial area, he’s worried that Walmart trucks might cut through neighborhoods in South Colton to get places faster.
“The issue isn’t so much the warehouse, but it’s the trucks that are coming out of those warehouses that are traveling through the freeways and the roads to get to these destination,” he said. “It’s producing large amounts of diesel emissions. And so we’re not convinced, quite frankly, that Walmart will have the means to try to force these truckers to stay away from residential areas.”
According to a study by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Colton has some of the highest levels of diesel exhaust fumes in the state.
Malashock said Walmart truck drivers are not supposed to cut through residential areas.
“Our truck drivers follow specific routes to get from place to place, so we don’t typically have a driver cutting through a neighborhood or going through a place that is not on their route,” she said. “We do everything we can to make sure we’re good community partners and I’m sure we’ll take that into consideration.”