Amazon executive speaks about HQ2 search

Search will be data driven, education important

DENVER -- An Amazon executive is talking about the company’s search for a second headquarters.   The remarks were made at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle. 

"The number of times in the last few weeks I've had very smart people say 'I'm convinced it will be blank and blank' is different in lots of cases, so we'll see," said CEO of Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke.

Wilkey said the decision to create HQ2 in cities like Denver will be based on data -- a plus for Colorado.

Boulder just topped a Bloomberg index of where people with science and technology backgrounds work. Fort Collins came in at 4th, Denver was 10th.

“I hope that we chose a city that has a focus on STEM education, particularly computer science in the public high schools and middle schools in the area. I think it's incredibly important. It's also a way for our employees to get involved in the local area."

Amazon said it won't be swayed by publicity stunts, like a cactus from economic leaders in Arizona.

Yet grassroots efforts like the Colorado Loves website are hoping they'll get noticed.  

“The point of our effort is to collect all members of the community and many assets in a digital format to demonstrate to the world and any large Seattle-based mega corporation all the wonderful things Colorado has to offer," said Stephanie Donner, chairwoman of Colorado Loves.

Amazon wants to hire 50,000 new employees for its new campus, an effort that may attract a different type of workforce.

"I mean, not everybody wants to live in the Northwest," said Wilke. “Its been terrific for me and my family, but I think we may find another location allows us to recruit a different collection of employees and that would be terrific, too."

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