Representatives of NorthPoint have claimed that 4000 jobs will be created.  A recent investigation by the Port of Olympia found that large warehouse facilities like NorthPoint is proposing actually create very few local jobs.  The study found that on average there are 2 jobs per acre of warehouse.  With their massive 6,000,000 sq.ft. warehouse that equates to only 276 onsite jobs.  NorthPoint is likely counting the truckers, train workers, temporary construction workers, gas station workers, etc. who will not be employed by NorthPoint, and most will not reside in this county.  Additionally, a majority of the warehouse jobs will be eventually be replaced by automation, as is already happening in many warehouses.

Thurston County currently has an abundance of available warehouse jobs.  The Hawks Prairie area has dozens of large warehouse distribution facilities (though they are all much smaller then the proposed NorthPoint facility).  Most, if not all, have unfilled positions and the majority of those positions are temporary or seasonal with no benefits.  Those who argue that we need more jobs in South Thurston County must believe the residents are not willing to travel 20 minutes to Hawks Prairie for a job.  We do not need more temporary warehouse jobs in this community.

What many do not consider is the loss of jobs at Millersylvania State Park, existing local businesses, and the damage to the tourist industry.  Many predict a significant decrease in park attendance which will lead to a loss of jobs both in the park and at other local tourism-supported business, jobs that are in high demand.

For a detailed look at another communities struggle with a train serviced distribution center combined with nearby retail warehousing (Hawks Prairie) and the kind of "jobs" that can be expected read this very insightful article in the New Republic.


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