.. the hundreds of applications gave Amazon a hidden benefit: free research that the company can mine when picking spots for future warehouses and satellite offices.
Amazon asked every city and state applying for its second headquarters for details about local resources, like available talent and transit options. Local officials were also prodded for tips on local education programs and tax incentives.
The answers — most of which have not been released publicly — essentially do Amazon’s homework for it, providing valuable information that the company otherwise would have needed to dig up on its own or obtain through one-on-one negotiations.
The application from the Kansas City, Mo., region detailed a program for teaching technical skills to preschoolers through 12th graders, according to a person briefed on the submissions, who would speak only anonymously because the discussions were private. A local coalition that helps military veterans make the transition to civilian jobs, which could help Amazon’s efforts to recruit veterans, also caught the company’s eye.
Amazon alluded to the upside of the information last week when Holly Sullivan, its head of economic development, said the rejected locations could receive a consolation prize of sorts.But
“Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation,” she said in a statement.
... By getting 238 communities to give their best pitch, Amazon has also gotten insight into the kinds of accommodations that places are willing to make to bring it to town.