JOLIET, Ill. — Walmart held grand opening ceremonies on Wednesday for a 1.1 million-square-foot Next Generation fulfillment center (FC) here.
Walmart FCs work to store millions of items, available on Walmart.com, that are then picked, packed and shipped directly to customers – now faster than ever. The new state-of-the-art facility will also fulfill Marketplace items shipped by Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS), Walmart’s end-to-end fulfillment service for third-party eCommerce sellers.
“As the first-of-its-kind for Walmart, our newly opened facility introduces an array of opportunities to our associates, including brand new tech-focused jobs. There’s never been a more exciting time to join Walmart Supply Chain,” said James Bright III, general manager, Fulfillment Center FC3040. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact this team of associates and the Joliet facility will have on not only the Northeast Illinois community and economy, but also for Walmart customers across the Midwest.”
First-of-its-Kind Automation for Walmart
The new Joliet fulfillment center will be the first of four next-gen FCs, announced earlier this year, that will feature a new patent-pending process powered by the combination of people, robotics and machine learning. This process will set a new precedent in fulfillment speed by streamlining a manual twelve-step process to just five steps. Once completed, the four new state-of-the-art FCs for Walmart could provide 75 percent of the U.S. population with next- or two-day shipping.
“Customers continue to expect faster delivery times and we are excited to be able to meet those needs with these new high-tech facilities,” said Karisa Sprague, SVP Fulfillment Network Operations, Walmart U.S., “The addition of the Joliet next generation FC, paired with our 31 dedicated eCommerce fulfillment centers, will allow Walmart to fulfill online orders for Walmart.com and Walmart+ customers with greater shipping speed in the mid-west region. And, with the holidays around the corner, we’re excited to provide a more seamless experience for our customers.”
New Career Opportunities
The facility is still actively hiring with a goal to hire more than 1,000 local full-time associates by the end of the year. Candidates can search for open positions and complete applications online at careers.walmart.com.
“This new facility capitalizes on the way consumers are shopping today by ensuring products get to homes faster, all while providing good jobs to local families,” said State Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., “While this fulfillment center will have an impact across the Midwest, the impact felt locally will be greatest due to the commitment made to our local community and the jobs being created for workers here in our region.”
Walmart associates are provided a path of opportunity beginning on their first day. Associates may participate in Walmart’s Live Better U program, where they can earn a college degree in business, technology, supply chain management and more with Walmart paying 100% of college tuition and books, removing the burden of debt. Other career advancing opportunities include Walmart Supply Chain Academies, which pay associates to learn through immersive teaching that combines technology, classroom training and ongoing coaching in role.
Full-time positions qualify for Walmart’s total rewards and benefits plans, including medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) matching, paid time off, stock purchase plan and more.
Continued Investment in Illinois Community
During the grand opening ceremony, Walmart celebrated its commitment to the northeastern community by presenting two $15,000 donations to local nonprofits, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois and the Spanish Community Center. Since 2015, Walmart and the Walmart foundation have averaged more than $1billion in annual donations each year to a variety of local causes and organizations.
“SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is grateful and excited to be partnering with the Walmart Joliet facility to support and strengthen families in foster care. The mission of Walmart is to help others to live better,” said Tim McCormick, Chief Executive Officer. “The gift today and ongoing support will ensure that children and families in our community are cared for and given all the resources to heal. This commitment not only strengthens a child’s life but also makes our community stronger.”
“We are very grateful to Walmart for supporting our community and our New Americans Initiative Program,” said Sylvia Acosta, Acting Executive Director. “Their investment in local communities helps us provide ESL and citizenship instruction for recent immigrants hoping to receive their citizenship”