The media is full of stories about Amazon wanting to build a second headquarters somewhere in the United States…with the possibility of 40,000 to 50,000 jobs. This is the facility that Wisconsin really needs instead of a manufacturing plant that might be obsolete before it’s finished:
Amazon said on Thursday that it was searching for a second headquarters in North America, a huge new development that would cost as much as $5 billion to build and run, and would house as many as 50,000 employees.
The announcement is likely to set off jockeying among several major cities, and is the latest step in the rapid expansion for the online retail giant. It recently completed its biggest acquisition, of the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods, and has embarked on a major hiring drive, adding tens of thousands of new employees.
The company, which is based in Seattle, listed a series of requirements for the new location, including a metropolitan area that has a population greater than one million, “a stable and business-friendly environment,” and a location that was able to attract and retain workers. The company is calling the development HQ2.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in upfront and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
Sounds like southeast Wisconsin could be in the running for something like this, without the risk to the environment or using millions of gallons of Lake Michigan water every day. The Milwaukee metro-area should be able to find space for it, provide space for additional housing, and provide public transportation…and of course already has many of the social, cultural, and sports activities that professionals would want. And I bet they’d love a streetcar stopping on their campus!
Will the state pursue this with the fervor that they pursued Foxconn? An Amazon HQ2 would actually produce the Wisconn Valley that the governor is grinning about! And we already have a good relationship with them!
These are the jobs we need to pursue!