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Amazon May Have Wanted More Labor Than Indy Has

An expert in business location says Indy may have also lacked the diversity Amazon was looking for.

INDIANAPOLIS--Amazon's second headquarters will not be in Indianapolis.

Instead of one city, Amazon picked three. It's splitting the coveted "HQ2" project between New York and the D.C. suburbs, while adding an East Coast operations hub in Nashville, Tennessee.

Governor Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett declared victory in defeat. Holcomb says Indy's bid showed the world Indiana is now a "global destination" for business. Hogsett calls Indy "the tech hub of the Midwest," and predicts the work which went into the Amazon bid will still pay dividends down the road. He notes that while Amazon was deliberating, the city landed the new Infosys tech-training hub with three-thousand jobs.

Indianapolis site selection consultant Tim Cook with KSM Location Advisors says losing out on the coveted headquarters project doesn't mean Indy did anything wrong -- the city just didn't have some of the things Amazon was looking for. The Nashville hub will add five-thousand jobs, with Queens and Virginia each adding five times that. Cook says that's a demand for skilled workers which Indy would have been hard-pressed to meet.

Cook argues Indy can be proud of making the short list of 20 cities out of more than 230 applicants, including Gary and Hammond. He echoes Hogsett's prediction that the attention the Amazon casting call generated will raise Indy's profile and attract future projects -- possibly some with Amazon itself.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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