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Amazon celebrates opening of Romulus delivery station

Nora Naughton
The Detroit News
Workers move packages inside the Amazon Delivery Station as the facility gives a tour to local dignitaries and students from Romulus Middle School on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

Romulus — A new Amazon.com delivery station is up and running, growing the e-commerce giant's footprint in southeast Michigan.

The delivery station, which opened in November and employs some 400 full-time workers, is the second Amazon facility to open in Romulus. A fulfillment center, a larger operation that employs about 1,600 workers, also opened last year.  

Amazon delivery stations, like the one that celebrated its grand opening with the public Thursday, handle logistics for the "last mile" of package delivery by sorting packages and coordinating driving routes. The delivery station uses independent contractors to ferry the packages to their final destination. Amazon also operates a fulfillment center in Livonia.

The Amazon delivery station, which opened in November, employs some 400 full-time workers.

Aaron Dawdy, a 35-year-old Okemos resident, left teaching to pursue entrepreneurship and jumped at the opportunity to work with Amazon when it came to Romulus. He started a delivery company, Prime Presence LLC, and now employs 50 drivers who deliver on 25 routes in the area.

"There was that part of me that wanted to explore owning my own business and I went into the home renovation business for a while, but when I saw this opportunity with Amazon I thought it would be a great transfer of my skills," said Dawdy, who formerly taught middle school in Okemos before leaving to start his own business. "This requires time management, logistics ... you do that in the classroom, too. When you're teaching students you need to have every single second of every single day mapped out."

Romulus Mayor LeRoy Burcroff attended the grand opening Thursday and lauded the contributions Amazon has made to his community, from job creation to growing the city's tax base.

Romulus Middle School student Allyssa Yharbrough shows her excitement after looking inside a delivery van as Amazon donates $10,000 to the Romulus Middle School STEM program.

"This is the prime type of example of what we want for economic development in our community," LeRoy said. 

As part of the celebration, Amazon donated $10,000 worth of science, technology and engineering equipment and school supplies to Romulus Middle School.

nnaughton@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @NoraNaughton