CITY OF BESSEMER, ALABAMA
City Life
From Amazon.com:   Jun. 22, 2018– Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans for the first Alabama fulfillment center to be located in Bessemer, which will create 1,500 full-time jobs with benefits starting on day one. The company currently operates a sortation center in Mobile, AL. “We are thrilled to bring our first fulfillment center to the state of Alabama, creating 1,500 full-time jobs,” said Mark Stewart, Amazon’s Vice President of North America Customer Fulfillment. “Alabama has a talented workforce and we look forward to making a positive economic impact in a state where we are committed to providing great job opportunities and an exceptional customer experience.” Amazon employees at the more than 855,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art fulfillment center will work alongside innovative technology created by Amazon Robotics. Amazon’s advanced technologies and robotics help employees complete jobs in a more efficient manner. Employees at the fulfillment center will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, household items and toys. ”Amazon is one of the world’s most dynamic companies, and we couldn’t be more proud to see the company select Alabama for one of its high-tech fulfillment centers,” said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. “This facility represents good jobs for our citizens and the beginning of a long partnership that I believe will see Amazon expand and grow in Alabama in the future.” “I would like to officially welcome Amazon to The Marvel City of Bessemer,” said Mayor Kenneth E. Gulley, City of Bessemer. “Words cannot truly express the excitement this announcement has brought to our city. By choosing to locate its Amazon Fulfillment Center here, Amazon is making the largest single private investment in the city of Bessemer’s 131-year history. Amazon is bringing jobs and opportunity to our residents and students. I am particularly proud of the educational incentives Amazon will offer our young people: get your high school diploma, work one year and receive $3,000 the next four years toward furthering your education. I anticipate this investment by Amazon will spur other development opportunities in Bessemer.” “Amazon’s decision to build a new fulfillment center in Bessemer, AL, is evidence of our state’s excellent workforce,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “This project gives us the opportunity to partner with one of the most successful, widely recognized companies in the world to promote economic growth and development throughout Alabama. I am proud to be a part of this great announcement and am thrilled to welcome Amazon to the greater Birmingham area.” Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive hourly wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one. Amazon also offers generous maternity and parental leave benefits and access to innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program’s launch, more than 16,000 employees have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few. “Whenever a company of Amazon’s panache enters a community, things improve,” said David Carrington, Jefferson County Commissioner. “Not only does Amazon bring the Birmingham metro area a minimum of 1,500 good-paying jobs with full benefits, it also provides its employees a post high school education pathway with its tuition assistance program.” “Amazon’s investment in our community is a big win for the Birmingham region,” said Lee Smith, Chairman of the Birmingham Business Alliance. “This state-of-the-art facility will be able to accommodate an expanding workforce and a changing economy as Amazon continues to prepare for its future. The BBA was pleased to lead several aspects of the project, including presentation of the site, infrastructure issues and local incentives. As in most successful projects, it was a well-coordinated community effort that led to a successful conclusion, and we’re very grateful to our partners and allies for their great work on this project.” To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, interested candidates can visit www.amazondelivers.jobs.
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Government
The Bessemer Farmers Market is starting its brand new season this month. On Monday, June 4, the market will be at Medical West near the cafeteria, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and hold open each Monday at the hospital thru  October. On Thursday, June 7, the market will be at Alex Bradford Park in downtown Bessemer (#2 19th Street North) from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM. The market will open each Thursday thru October at  Bradford Park. Both markets will offer an array of fresh local produce along with home canned jams and jellies and handmade items for sale. Local honey will be available at the Thursday market. The Bessemer Farmers Markets is certified by the State Farmers Market Authority, meaning you can be assured that the produce you buy is grown by the person selling it to you and that is it as fresh as possible. Both markets accept Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) coupons as well as SNAP/EBT payments. Those who pay with SNAP/EBT will also get Double Bucks, meaning they get twice as much fresh produce for what they pay. Bessemer Farmers Market is part of the nonprofit, Bessemer Local Food Education Network.
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The City of Bessemer is seeking highly motivated youth between the ages of 14 to 18 to support local businesses, organizations, and governmental offices for summer employment. Responsibilities vary according to assigned locations upon hire.  Students must completely adhere to the application requirements as a part of the selection process.  A base compensation of $7.25 per hour for 25 hours per week is allotted for each individual hired.  Summer employment extends for six weeks beginning June 4, 2018. A holiday break is included for July 2 – 4, 2018.  Interested persons may pick up an application from Bessemer City High School, Bessemer City Middle School, or Bessemer City Hall. All applications must be returned to the previously mentioned locations on May 8, 2018 by 4:00 p.m. to be considered.  Telephone calls will not be accepted concerning employment.  Applicants will be notified about their selection for hire. City of Bessemer Day Camp Registration Form for Campers City of Bessemer job application for Student Workers
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Government
  The Fourth Annual Taste of Bessemer and Business Expo will return to the Bessemer Civic Center on Thursday, April 26, 2018. The event, organized by the Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce, features live entertainment, food and business display vendors and fun for the entire family. Doors will open at 4 p.m. and the event will last until 8p.m. The Taste of Bessemer started in 2015 and has grown in size each year. Attending vendors last year included local favorites such as Bob Sykes BBQ, the Bright Star and up-and-coming establishments, caterers and local businesses . Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce president Latasha Cook said the Taste of Bessemer allows restaurants and other businesses in the city an opportunity to showcase their products to potential customers. “This event gives attendees an opportunity to come and see some of the businesses that make Bessemer great,” Cook said. Tickets are $16 through Wednesday, April 25, but will be $25 the day of the event. For more information, contact the Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce at 205-425-3253.
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Government
The Bessemer City Council approved funding on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 for non-profits doing work in the city of Bessemer. The following organizations applied to the city and were approved for funding for fiscal year 2018: Magic City Smooth Jazz ($4,000). The organization will host the annual Jazz in the Park Concert in Bessemer on June 24 at DeBardeleben Park. The event is free to the public. Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services ($5,000). The organization provides vital emergency services to residents of Bessemer. The Bessemer Cut-Off Advocacy Center, Inc. doing business as The Clay House Children’s Center ($5,000). The organization helps victims within the city who have been subjected to child abuse, by providing therapy, forensic interviewing, court support, and education within the local programs and school systems. The Latch and Live Foundation ($10,000). Works in Bessemer to help families rebuild their lives and end homelessness. The Bessemer Hall of History ($5,000). Works to preserve the history of Bessemer. The Assistance League of Birmingham ($5,000). Provides essential services for children such as clothing and reading tutors for children in the Bessemer school system. The organization also serves senior artisans. Save the Youth, Inc. ($10,000). Provides children within the city of Bessemer with mentors, life-skills training, as well as drug and alcohol awareness. Alabama STEM Education. ($15,000). Provides affordable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) training and GED preparation classes to students in Bessemer. American Red Cross Mid-Alabama Chapter ($15,000). Provides essential services in times of need and disaster for Bessemer residents.
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The city of Bessemer, in conjunction with Jefferson County and the town of Sylvan Springs, will host a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Bessemer Public Works Laydown Yard, located at 1205 15th Avenue North. Collections will begin at 8:30 a.m. and last until 11 a.m. Collections will only be taken from residents of Bessemer, Unincorporated Jefferson County and the town of Sylvan Springs. There is no charge for residents of those areas to bring hazardous household items for drop-off. The event will be held on a first come, first serve basis. Collection will close when capacity is met. Other partners in this endeavor include the Alabama Environmental Council, Environmental & Recycling Solutions, Delta Oil Services, Interstate Batteries and Shred-it. See the flyer for information on what items will be accepted and which items will not be accepted during the event.  
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Government
The ribbon-cutting for the new Bessemer Rail-Trail. Photo courtesy of The Cutoff News.
The city of Bessemer’s new Rail-Trail is officially open. On a beautiful, spring morning, some 100 walkers joined with Mayor Kenneth Gulley and members of the Bessemer City Council to officially open the city’s first-ever Rails-to-Trails Multi-use at the Fairfax Avenue and 15th Street South. “This is just another great amenity for the residents of Bessemer to enjoy,” said Mayor Gulley. A short program was held prior the ribbon-cutting and included remarks from the Mayor. Pastor Sylvester Henderson of Ebenezar Baptist Church in Bessemer blessed the trail with a prayer. Bessemer’s “Rail-Trail” was once an elevated railroad line known as the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad that ran parallel to Highway 150, or 14th Street South in Bessemer, from 1946 to 1988. The line was abandoned in 1988 and CSX railroad donated the land to the city. A sign at the trailhead tells of the history of the former rail line. “The first time I saw these train trestles I thought, what a great spot that would be for a trail. I didn’t know at that time that we owned it, but when I found out, we started looking for ways to turn this into something to benefit our residents,” Gulley said. City officials have secured federal and state funding to convert the former railroad line into a multi-use trail. Partners on the project include the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Bessemer Housing Authority. Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood served as project managers. Forestry Environmental Services was the contractor for the project. Representatives from the Freshwater Land Trust, which is promoting the county-wide Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System, and the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, which has provided $50,000 in funding for phase two of the trail, were on hand as well. Mayor Gulley thanked Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Transportation Director John Cooper for helping make funding available for the project. Gulley said he recalled meeting with state officials and questioning them about why the western portion of Jefferson County was not receiving funding other parts of the county were receiving. “I remember Mr. Cooper telling me that ‘no one asked’,” Gulley said. “I told him then, that is about to change. We’ve managed to secure grant funding in recent years to do projects like this and pave our streets. We’re going to continue to pursue funding to help better our city.” The first-phase of the trail stretches from Fairfax Avenue to Berkley Avenue, and includes the installation of new sidewalks along Fairfax Avenue. A second-phase of the project is expected to start later this year and will include the construction of a trail bridge over Berkley Avenue. A third phase is being planned to link the rail-trail to the Bessemer Recreation Center by way of a pedestrian bridge. City officials envision the trail eventually stretching from downtown Bessemer and to Lakeshore Drive, where it will connect with the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System.
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