Amazon announced that it was ahead of schedule in the hiring process for its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. In a blog post, the company announced that it will have 400 Arlington-based employees hired by the end of 2019 and 25,000 over the next decade.
"Today marks an important step in the process as we lease office space and begin hiring," Ardine Williams, the vice president of Workforce Development for Amazon wrote in a blog post. "We will welcome our new employees to our temporary office space on Crystal Drive in June while we work toward opening our first building this fall."
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Amazon posted its first job listings on Monday morning. As of Tuesday evening, there were five jobs listed on the website. These jobs will be corporate positions, half of which will be tech-related. The average salary for an employee will be about $150,000, according to Amazon estimates.
"Since the beginning of this year, the Amazon team has been working with community members, educators, and state and local experts on how to increase the talent available in this region to make Virginia an even more attractive destination for innovators large and small," Williams said. "We have a unique opportunity to build programs that both support the skills development necessary to create a pipeline for jobs at Amazon, and also increase the talent pool in the DMV."
David Remick, the executive director of the Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council said in an email that he is excited for the first job postings.
"We are very excited to see the first postings of job announcements for Amazon's second headquarters in National Landing," Remick said. "The Greater Washington region benefits from a diverse and talent-rich labor pool, and we know that this is talent pool will serve Amazon well."
As part of Amazon's deal with Virginia, the commonwealth is creating a tech talent pipeline designed to prepare local students for potential jobs with companies like Amazon. Over the next decade, the pipeline is estimated to produce 25,000 new computer science degrees. It also includes millions of dollars in workforce grant funding and broadband funding.
The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this year to provide up to $750 million worth of performance-based subsidies for Amazon. Although supporters hailed this as a victory for the region, some critics suggested a free-market approach would be better for the area, one where government doesn't award tax breaks to a small handful of businesses but instead offers an overall business-friendly environment to all job creators.