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Buffalo, Rochester metro regions announce strategic collaboration in pursuit of Amazon HQ2

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Thu, Oct 12th 2017 12:00 pm
Organizers: Joint submission will demonstrate large talent pool, while showcasing regional attributes, including existing area connectivity, advanced innovation eco-system, coveted work-life balance, livability, low-cost operational environment, multiple top-tier site options
On Thursday, Invest Buffalo Niagara (InBN) - the nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization representing the eight counties of Western New York - and Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) - the economic development organization committed to attracting new capital investments, creating regional wealth and new jobs throughout the nine counties of Greater Rochester - announced a joint collaboration between the Buffalo and Rochester metro regions in pursuit of Amazon's proposed second North American headquarters (HQ2).
"In assessing the full scope of the Amazon HQ2 RFP opportunity, it was apparent that, by linking our efforts, the combined Buffalo Rochester metro corridor can offer a proposal that is both compelling and extremely competitive," InBN President and CEO Tom Kucharski and GRE Interim President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said. "With over 2.2 million people, a very talented labor pool, and an extremely livable community, our organizations are excited to join forces in attempting to draw the interest of Amazon."
On Sept. 7, Amazon issued a request for proposals for a project related to potential site locations for the company's second corporate headquarters, at which Amazon will hire as many as 50,000 new full-time employees with an average annual total compensation exceeding $100,000 over the next 10-15 years, following commencement of operations. The project is expected to require more than $5 billion in capital expenditures.
"This collaboration demonstrates the undeniable connectivity that already exists between our two great communities," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said. "In addition to several excellent site options and a low-cost operating environment, we believe that it is our people, highly skilled workforce, world-class colleges and universities, and strong regional competency in radio-frequency identification, sustainable packaging, flight controls, drone technology, high-performance computing, software development and data analytics that will help our proposal stand out."
"Over the years, some of the most innovative companies in the world have called Buffalo and Rochester home," said City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. "We look forward to seeing that pioneering history showcased in the proposal, alongside the recent resurgence that our cities are experiencing - be it through notable downtown commercial and residential developments, tech and startup industry expansion and activity, affordable housing and good jobs, or the newfound urban vibe that has been attracting millennials and working professionals to the region."
The combined Buffalo Rochester metro corridor submission will provide detailed responses to the various components of the Amazon RFP, while expounding upon several potential proposal differentiators, including the well-documented affordability of the region, low operating costs for business located there, ease of travel - via bicycle, public transit or automobile - and extensive access to leisure/lifestyle activities considered attractive to the prototypical Amazon worker.
The proposal document will feature dynamic site locations, information on the region's existing and evolving innovation ecosystem, and background on the area's 60-plus colleges and universities - including the Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester and University at Buffalo, amongst others. Additionally, the submission will include the Buffalo Rochester metro corridor's central location within the internationally significant U.S./Canada community, as well as its ties to a multitude of Canadian businesses, universities and researchers, relationships that have proven to be mutually beneficial for upstate New York's talent and technologies.
"While there is little doubt that we will be up against some stiff competition, our team is committed to submitting a sophisticated, robust proposal that shines a positive light on the Greater Buffalo Rochester metro corridor, no matter the outcome," Kucharski and Hurlbutt said.
Various area companies and business organizations, university and community leaders, and elected city and county officials are also contributing to the efforts.
More details on the Amazon HQ2 RFP are available at amazon.com.
Invest Buffalo Niagara is the area's leading private sector economic development and business attraction organization, focused on research, marketing and business development outreach. Learn more at buffaloniagara.org.
Greater Rochester Enterprise is an economic development organization committed to attracting new capital investments, creating regional wealth and new jobs throughout the Greater Rochester region. Learn more at rochesterbiz.com.

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