Three years after choosing Arlington, Va., as the winner of its high-profile HQ2 search, Amazon is speeding forward to build facilities to accommodate 25,000 workers in the Washington, D.C. suburb.
But that East Coast growth is not slowing down the company’s ambitions elsewhere. In fact, the so-called “everything store” is expanding everywhere.
In a series of announcements on Tuesday, Amazon pledged continued expansion in three prominent tech hubs: Austin, Chicago and Phoenix.
It’s yet another signal that the cloud computing and online retailing giant plans to diversify the geographies where its technology workers and corporate staff do business, something that will take on more importance as directors at the company begin to individually decide remote work policies.
- In Austin, the company inked a 330,000 square foot lease to house corporate and tech jobs in areas such as operations technology and Amazon Web Services. It plans to add 2,000 jobs at its facility there, and has 1,000 open positions. The company already employs more than 3,000 people in Austin.
- In the Phoenix area, Amazon is expanding its presence in Tempe where it signed a lease for an additional 63,000 square feet of space its existing facility. It plans to add 550 tech and corporate jobs, adding to the more than 5,000 the company already employs in the Phoenix area.
- In Chicago, Amazon inked a new 67,000 square foot lease and said it plans to add another 450 tech and corporate jobs. It already employs more than 1,000 tech and corporate workers in the Windy City.
The expansion of tech and corporate jobs outside of Amazon’s hometown of Seattle is not a new phenomenon. Last year, the company said it planned to add 3,500 tech jobs across six cities: Dallas, Denver, Detroit, New York City, Phoenix, and San Diego.
Having geographic diversity will help Amazon recruit more broadly, and provide more flexibility for current workers who may find it more convenient to live in other parts of the country. And just as Amazon has strategically placed fulfillment centers near dozens of population centers in recent years across the U.S., it is now doing the same with corporate offices.
Amazon employs more than 75,000 people in the Seattle area, with much of the recent growth taking place in Bellevue, Wash. where the company is rapidly expanding with plans to employ 25,000 people. See our recent GeekWire story: Amazon’s second chance: Bellevue gives tech giant an opportunity to reshape its legacy.
And Amazon’s worldwide headcount — including workers in fulfillment centers — continues to mushroom.
At the end of the third quarter, the company reported 1.468 million full- and part-time employees, up 30% year-over-year. Much of that growth occurred in Amazon fulfillment centers, but the company’s recent moves indicate that it plans to grow its corporate and technology staff in multiple cities, not just HQ1 and HQ2.