Reporting Andrea Menniti
PATTERSON (CBS13) – In the small San Joaquin valley town of Patterson, they’re in the midst of an economic boom.
Hundreds of new jobs are being created. Amazon recently announced plans to open a new distribution center there in the next year or so.
At population 20,000, the city of Patterson sits in rural Stanislaus County. But despite the city’s small size, leaders are attracting industrial heavy hitters.
Amazon is moving into a now vacant field next door to Key Stone Business Park, where you can find shipping centers for Kohl’s, CVS Pharmacy and now Grainger, which is preparing for a grand opening.
So how does a tiny town lures in big business? For starters – location.
“We had to pick something that was close to all the transportation corridors. The I-5 is right in our backyard, which makes it very easy to get them what they want, when they want it,” said Hector Vega, Grainger’s director of distribution.
Grainger is celebrating its grand opening Tuesday – a few days after Amazon announced it’s moving in and bringing in at least 1,000 jobs.
Grainger, a global company, hired 200 workers in Patterson and about 80 percent are new to the company and from the general area. Every job counts in a city with an unemployment rate of more than 23 percent.
“Absolutely wonderful, wonderful pool of candidates that we found in the local community,” Vega said.
City leaders approved the industrial park years ago, offering businesses a shovel-ready site and speedy customer service.
“The city of Patterson was incredibly friendly, very willing to work with us, very willing to make it easy for us to establish and do what we needed to do,” Vega said.
He’s not surprised Amazon chose this city and expects others will follow suit.