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Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in DuPont, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon said it will open a fulfillment center in Spokane, Wash., the state’s second largest city.

The 600,000-square-foot facility, which Amazon says will employ more than 1,500 people is the company’s first distribution center in Eastern Washington, and its fourth overall in the state. The company says humans will work alongside robots to pick, pack and ship items to customers such as games, housewares, school supplies and pet toys.

Amazon highlighted its investment in Washington in the announcement, saying it has poured $37 billion into its home state since 2011, including infrastructure upgrades and employee compensation. Amazon employs 50,000 people across the state in its Seattle HQ campus and fulfillment centers.

Amazon’s distribution centers are a key piece of its logistics and delivery strategy. Amazon recently went a step further, announcing in June a new program to help entrepreneurs start and run their own delivery operations — dropping off items purchased on Amazon.com in distinctive blue Prime-branded shirts and vans.

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