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Amazon doubling its BC workforce with second Vancouver office

Last Updated Nov 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm PST

FILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)
Summary

Amazon to open second office in Vancouver, but it's not the coveted HQ2

Horgan says housing and transit are among issues that need to be addressed to help BC grow in the tech sector

New Amazon jobs coming to Vancouver will include tech and non-tech jobs

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Internet retail giant Amazon has announced it will add 1,000 new jobs in this province by early 2020.

That will bring the Seattle-based company’s BC-based professional workforce to 2,000 people.

The company says it will open a second corporate office in Vancouver, leasing a new 50,000 sq. ft. building on Dunsmuir Street in Downtown Vancouver. However, this is not the highly sought-after second Amazon headquarters that has drawn the attention of governments across North America.

Site leader Jesse Dougherty says the company is choosing to expand in Vancouver because of the talent there is to offer. “We’ve really found it’s been an exciting place to grow. We’ve had very rapid expansion to grow to this first 1,000 and we’re really excited about continuing to grow out here.”

He says the news is being well-received and the work being done in Vancouver is for global customers, meaning engineers have access to knowledge from around the world.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is thrilled with the news. “We’re obviously looking down the road as well, with further growth from Amazon and other tech companies, but Vancouver’s booming like never before.”

On the issue of housing these new employees, Robertson says a record number of homes are being built here.

Premier John Horgan says in addition to housing, there are other issues the province needs to address in order to help BC grow in the tech sector. “More transit so that we can move around the region and most importantly, significant investments in post-secondary education, particularly in… science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Horgan says jobs in tech pay 75 per cent more than the provincial average.

The new jobs will include tech and non-tech jobs, such as software development, human resources and marketing roles.

While Dougherty expressed excitement about Amazon’s quick growth in his hometown, he remained mum on the possibility of the company choosing Vancouver as the site for it’s planned second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.

“I have no information on HQ2,” he later reporters.

An Amazon spokesperson added today’s announcement is separate from the second headquarters plans and there’s no connection between the two.

Vancouver is among several Canadian cities in contention to attract the company’s US$5 billion second North American headquarters.¬†Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Calgary and several others cities also submitted proposals.