Amazon has hired 3,000+ HQ2 workers so far
E-tailer likely eligible for $78M in state grants for jobs created since 2019
So far, Amazon.com Inc. has hired more than 3,000 of the 25,000 employees it plans to recruit by 2030 for its multibillion-dollar HQ2 East Coast headquarters in Arlington, the global online retailer announced Wednesday.
In 2019, the Virginia General Assembly passed an incentive package that would pay Amazon up to $550 million in grants for hitting annual goals toward hiring 25,000 workers paid the stipulated average annual wage at HQ2 by 2030. The state will pay Amazon an additional $200 million if the company hires 12,850 more workers between 2030 and 2034.
If Amazon hits the state’s goal of hiring 1,964 HQ2 workers in 2021 as expected, the company will have hired a minimum of 3,544 workers by the end of this year. The company will also be eligible to receive $78 million in grants so far, with the first installment of $8.8 million to be paid to Amazon as soon as July 2023. Amazon has indicated that it is on or ahead of schedule for meeting its 2030 hiring deadlines, according to Stephen Moret, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.
“Amazon is delivering on or exceeding all of its commitments to Virginia,” Moret said in a statement, “and the company has gone above and beyond with its philanthropic contributions and community engagement. We are very pleased with their progress, and we’re especially grateful that they continue to hire robustly at HQ2 and across Virginia, even during the pandemic. Virginia’s strong fiscal position during the pandemic has been in part because of all the jobs, capital investment and tax revenues Amazon has generated across the commonwealth.”
As part of the incentive grant program, the state required that Amazon’s HQ2 jobs created in 2019 have an annual wage of $150,000, with that annual salary increasing by 1.5% each year. In 2021, Amazon must hire at least 1,964 HQ2 workers at an average annual wage of $154,534 in order to be eligible for this year’s state job-creation incentive grants. Only “qualifying new jobs” — newly created jobs that would meet the average wage target — will be used in grant calculations. In order to prevent higher salaried employees from skewing the average too much, the state’s agreement with Amazon provides for per-employee wage caps that must be used when calculating the average. For example, for 2021, no additional compensation above $875,691 for one employee’s salary can be used to calculate the average salary of newly hired HQ2 employees.
Amazon HQ2 currently spans five buildings in Arlington’s burgeoning National Landing business district. The headquarters’ second construction phase will include three 22-story office buildings and “The Helix,” a 370,000-square-foot spiral-shaped tower that is expected to be built by 2025.
Amazon is holding a virtual Career Day on Sept. 15, when it plans to hire for more than 40,000 corporate and tech roles across more than 220 U.S. locations, as well as for hourly positions in Amazon’s operations network. Amazon says it plans to hire technical and non-tech workers at HQ2 for positions including software development engineers, technical sales representatives, program managers and solutions architects. These HQ2 workers will be hired for positions for Amazon divisions such as Amazon Web Services, Amazon Care, Global Immigration, Alexa, IMDb TV and more.
Last year, the company hired more than 400,000 people in the United States.