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      Amazon officially opens its doors to the community

      WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- State political and business leaders gathered Tuesday for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Amazon Fulfillment Center in West Columbia.

      Amazon officials first hired 500 people last year when half of the facility opened for use. Now that the rest of the building is ready for use, hundreds of other individuals have been, and will continue to be hired.

      "There are many local businesses that sell their product through Amazon, and we stock their product here and sell there product all over the country," said John Petta, general manager of the new facility.

      The Fulfillment Center took roughly nine months to complete and spans more than one million square feet.

      Mike Roth, Amazon Vice President, spoke during the press conference and used an interesting analogy to put the size of new facility in perspective.

      He said the football fields from every SEC and ACC team could fit inside the building, and there would still be room for the Gamecocks' baseball stadium.

      Another center will open in Spartanburg in the fall, which will handle bigger products, such as televisions and kitchen appliances. The West Columbia center will handle single shipments and smaller items such as DVDs and books.