Amazon workers wrap up pallets of orders for shipment at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Amazon workers wrap up pallets of orders for shipment at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Amazon to open new satellite internet manufacturing center in Everett

The 184,000-square-foot Amazon facility with 200 employees will support Project Kuiper, the company’s broadband internet network.

EVERETT — Amazon will open a new Everett facility to support the company’s broadband satellite network, Project Kuiper.

The 184,000-square-foot logistics center is expected to open next month and employ 200 people, the company said in a statement Monday.

Workers at the new facility will sort parts and supplies used to construct the satellites and prepare them for final assembly at an Amazon satellite production facility in Kirkland.

“The reputation of Everett’s aerospace manufacturing expertise is pushed even higher with the addition of Project Kuiper,” Everett’s Economic Development Director Dan Eernissee said Tuesday in an email.

Amazon did not disclose the address of the new logistics center. However, a city official suggested it could be located northeast of Paine Field near Glenwood Avenue and Sievers Duecy Boulevard — near another Amazon property.

“I am thrilled to welcome Amazon’s new Project Kuiper facility to Everett,” Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said in a statement. “This investment not only strengthens our region’s reputation as a hub for aerospace innovation, but also creates valuable job opportunities for our residents.”

“The space industry is a rapidly growing sector, and Everett is proud to play a role in helping it thrive in Washington state,” Franklin continued. “We are grateful for Amazon’s commitment to our community, look forward to the positive impact this facility will have on our local economy, and excited to put our stamp on a project that will help transform the world.”

About one-third of the world’s population, or 2.6 billion people, are not connected to the internet, according to the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union.

In the United States, an estimated 22 million Americans lack reliable internet service, according to Broadband Now, a data technology company.

Project Kuiper aims to close the digital divide by delivering fast, affordable broadband to businesses, government agencies and consumers, according to Amazon.

Amazon has secured 80 agreements to launch 3,236 satellites that will orbit the Earth at a distance of about 1,200 miles, considered low-Earth orbit, according to Amazon.

Project Kuiper plans to launch its first satellites later this year.

Help-wanted ads for jobs at the Everett logistics center for technicians and other positions can now be found on several online job sites.

Founded in 2018, Amazon’s broadband network competes with Starlink, the internet satellite network owned by SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk in 2002.

Project Kuiper has partnered with the Lake Washington Institute of Technology to create the institute’s first-ever satellite technician certificate program.

The program will focus on safety protocols, aerospace assembly skills, materials handling, electrical systems and industry-standard practices, the institute said.

“Our partnership with Lake Washington Institute of Technology will help create a pipeline of future satellite technicians to meet the evolving needs of this area’s thriving space and satellite sectors, and give more people the opportunity to take part in Project Kuiper’s important mission,” said Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy and community engagement at Amazon, in a statement.

More than half of the satellites in low-Earth orbit are manufactured in Washington, according to the state Department of Commerce.

Amazon recently opened a 172,000-square-foot satellite manufacturing facility in Kirkland with the capacity to build up to five satellites a day. After the satellites are constructed and quality-tested, they are shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for final processing and “integration with the rockets that will carry them to space,” according to Amazon.

More than 2,000 Amazon employees in the Puget Sound area are working on Project Kuiper.

Washington’s space cluster is growing. In 2022, a Puget Sound Regional Council report showed the state’s space industry had more than doubled in four years. The cluster generates $4.6 billion in economic activity and employs more than 13,000 people, the report said.

It’s made up of about 100 companies, including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, Blue Origin, SpaceX, Gravitics in Marysville and Everett’s Off Planet Research.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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