So, Tuesday the big winners in the Amazon headquarters derby were Washington, D.C. and New York City. Both have plenty of good reasons to land the biggest business prize to come around in the last decade but at the end of the day it really came down to the deep and extremely rich talent pool of tech workers that already live there.
Many cities and states offered better deals, tax breaks, help in building the campus and countless other perks. But access to talent and the ability to shuttle back and forth from New York to Washington, along with the fact that most tech workers like to live in a big city won out.
We all know that Miami was Florida’s finalist in the great Amazon headquarters derby, but truth be told they really never stood a chance. A quick look at the South Florida region showed that the talent pool was about 50,000 tech workers, ranking them 20th overall in the United States.
The two cities at the top of the list were New York City with over 350,000 and Washington, D.C. with over 260,000 people already in town working at high paying tech companies.
While, New York has more tech workers than Washington, D.C. the key point for the Northern Virginal area that landed Amazon was that “Silicon Valley East,” already has more highly skilled workers ready to go than the mecca of the tech world the San Francisco Bay Area.
Add to that the highly thought of Virginia Tech School of Engineering expanded its Northern Virginia campus to be within walking distance of the new Amazon headquarters.
The University of South Florida in Tampa and the University of Central Florida should be commended on their rapid growth in educating top tech students. Add to that the University of Florida and there is no doubt that the I -4 corridors will soon be a very attractive home for other tech giants, but they are not there just yet.
While the remaining 18 cities that did not land Amazon are sad they didn’t get chosen, they could be a good fit for other tech operations. Add to that list Central Florida and it is only a matter of time before major tech companies seek the sun.