Westchester Puts Bid on Second Amazon Headquarters
County Executive Rob Astorino made a pitch in the bidding race for Amazon’s second North American headquarters which is being dubbed as HQ2 by the Seattle-based company. If chosen, Westchester could potentially see an additional 50,000 jobs added to the region from the company alone.
The criteria that Amazon is seeking from potential cities in the country is that they are situated in a metropolitan area with more than one million people, close to urban or suburban locations, have a healthy business environment, and can retain talented professionals. The internet-based store also wants to have access to mass transit and major highways and be within 45 minutes of an international airport.
Given all this, the county executive believes that Westchester is the right fit for HQ2.
“Westchester has everything Amazon is looking for and more: talent, accessibility, quality of life, value and locations, locations, locations,” Astorino said on Sept. 26 outside of the Westchester County Center. “Amazon laid out the criteria and Westchester matches them, making Westchester the smart choice for Amazon.”
Westchester could be considered an ideal location with its relatively short commute to New York City, the accessible mass transit, and multiple locations for the company to set up HQ2 from White Plains to Somers. The quality of life is also favorable given the scenic river towns, places for potential workers to settle down to raise families in, and outdoor recreation trails.
“It’s no accident that global business leaders like IBM, PepsiCo, Regeneron and MasterCard have their world headquarters in Westchester,” said Astorino. To get the point across further, Astorino had Westchester’s proposal delivered by drone.
On Amazon’s webpage, which goes over the benefits of hosting HQ2, the internet retailer opened up a public forum to seek out its next location “to find a city that is excited to work with us and where our customers, employees, and the community can all benefit.”
In addition to the jobs that HQ2 would generate, the chosen location could also expect to see over $5 billion invested in the construction of the second headquarters, which in turn would create additional jobs for the production process, both short and long-term.
WCC President Dr. Belinda Miles gave her support for the efforts to attract Amazon to Westchester.
“As the largest higher education provider in the region, Westchester Community College offers degree programs and workforce training that prepares students with the twenty-first century skills that high-tech and high-performing organizations need,” Miles said.
If chosen, WCC students could look no further than their backyard for decent job opportunities. Opportunities from working for the highly ranked company to internships. Careers within the tech industry ranges from hourly wage associates to high end executives, but if HQ2 were to settle within the county, one could imagine that WCC’s education programs might take note of the new neighbor and steer students towards a path that could work in the favor of both future graduates and Amazon.