By Jerry Underwood
Made in Alabama

Walmart on Tuesday officially marked the opening of a $135 million distribution center in Mobile that will create 750 jobs and strengthen the retailer’s supply chain network.

During a grand opening ceremony, Gov. Kay Ivey highlighted how the new facility will contribute to economic growth in the region while providing career opportunities for residents.

“Walmart proves to be a great corporate partner to the state of Alabama, year after year, by investing in its stores, its employees and the surrounding community,” Ivey said. “Their commitment cannot be better proven than by the opening of this new distribution center, which, when fully operational, will provide approximately 750 quality jobs in the Mobile area.

“We are grateful to Walmart for supporting the economic health of the Port City, and for the large role they play in propelling our great state forward.”

The new Walmart Import Distribution Center will bring a lot of business to the Alabama State Port Authority. (Walmart)

‘Warm welcome’

The Arkansas-based retailer announced plans for the 2.6 million-square-foot facility in March 2017. It will supply several regional distribution centers that support approximately 700 Walmart stores in Alabama, Mississippi and beyond.

“We are excited about how this facility will help us better serve our customers across the South and beyond, while creating a positive economic impact locally through job creation and future development,” said Jeff Breazeale, Walmart vice president, direct import logistics.

“We are grateful to the State of Alabama, Mobile County, the City of Mobile, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the Alabama State Port Authority for the warm welcome we have received here, and we look forward to a strong partnership with the community for years to come.”

The Mobile facility employs 575 full-time workers, with plans calling for a total of 750 once it’s fully operational. Pay for associates starts at $16.50 an hour, while managers earn $50,000 a year or more and are eligible for additional annual incentives.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.