Welcome to NYC, Amazon!

Amazon’s announcement that it will bring tens of thousands of high-paying jobs to New York reinforces what we’ve long known to be the case: that New York City is the most fertile ground to build and grow technology companies. New York uniquely has the attributes that technology companies — and the people who want to work for them — look for: diversity, access to public transit, cultural and arts institutions, access to customers and clients, expertise, and capital. Even more, the next generation of technology will be built to power existing industries — industries that all already call New York home.

So while we were not surprised to learn of Amazon’s decision, we were indeed thrilled.

Amazon’s new jobs will only help support our already robust ecosystem, bolstering a cycle of employees and entrepreneurs working together to build and grow new companies, all over the city. It will help highlight Long Island City and show how parts of our country that once focused on manufacturing can adapt to the jobs of the future. It’s a vote of confidence for efforts by the city and state to build a real tech talent pipeline right here in NYC — from the Bloomberg Administration’s commitment to build Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island, to the de Blasio Administration’s efforts to teach computer science to all NYC public school students and support women entrepreneurs, to the Cuomo Administration’s investment in computer science education across the state.

The addition of 25,000 employees to Long Island City will indeed come with some challenges, but they are challenges we relish. We need to get the subways in better working order and build the BQX to ensure people can efficiently travel to the places they work and live. And we need to reinforce our commitment to workforce development efforts, to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the good jobs that Amazon — and the other 7,000+ tech companies in NYC — provide.

This is great news and we look forward to ensuring that NYC is a good home for tech and that tech is good for NYC.

Last year, 50 tech leaders sent a letter to Jeff Bezos and said the following, which remains just as true today:

Many of us chose to be here for access to the arts and cultural institutions—not to mention the experience of walking the city’s sidewalks, which provide a constant source of creative inspiration, customer insight, and serendipity that only a city of New York’s scale can provide. But more than anything, we are all here because we love New York. This is a shared sentiment across our families, friends, colleagues, and the teams we’ve built. It’s the ultimate way to attract talent and to inspire the kind of creativity and dialogue that allows companies to thrive.

This morning, we released the following statement, attributable to Executive Director Julie Samuels:

“We are thrilled to welcome Amazon to New York, and look forward to seeing it and its thousands of future employees prosper alongside our city. From a talented workforce to local leaders dedicated to creating a business environment that can attract innovative companies, it is no surprise that Amazon would want to greatly expand its presence here. Amazon’s decision will have far-reaching positive impacts on New York for years to come, and it solidifies the City’s position as one of the most dynamic technology hubs in the world.”

-Julie Samuels, Executive Director, Tech:NYC

To read more about the New York tech ecosystem, including statistics about startups, funding, jobs, and more check out our data page here.





Photo credit: Historic steel railroad gantries at Hunters Point in Long Island City by Luciano Mortula - LGM/Shutterstock