Is This a Prime Location for Amazon?

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- More than 200 communities around the country are vying to be the home of Amazon's new headquarters known as "HQ2."

Our region is one of them. We learned on Thursday what was included in our application to Amazon.

Officials from the economic development agency that sent in Northeastern PA's application to Amazon let us in on some of the materials they included that might influence Amazon to build here.

They listed six possible locations, and they also included something meant to make our application stand out.

At a meeting at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, we got a peek inside a very special Amazon box.

the economic development agency, Penn's Northeast, sent the retail titan a series of boxes filled with northeastern Pennsylvania's application to become home to Amazon's new headquarters HQ2.

Just like with a job application, ours needed to stand out among the 238 communities that applied. So, Penn's Northeast included a list of reasons why northeastern Pennsylvania is a good location and one bad reason. They cited a Cornell University study that says this area is the worst place to be in a zombie apocalypse.

"We decided to have a little fun with it, and we put together a zombie survival kit and said that if Amazon locates here, we'll give every employee a kit to make sure that they're safe," said John Augustine, Penn's Northeast.

The application also included some serious suggestions including six possible locations for Amazon to build HQ2.

Can Do Corporate Center near Hazleton, Glenmaura in Lackawanna County, Arcadia North Business Park near Tobyhanna, Highridge Business Park near Minersville, a property in Hanover Township near Wilkes-Barre, and on the grounds of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

It's a one in 238 shot, but officials say the same application could be used in the future for other companies.

"If we don't land Amazon, that's fine, I understand, but there's other places out there. And we have the workforce, we have the transportation, we have the infrastructure. Northeastern Pennsylvania could be a phenomenal place to live and work and if we bring in more of these big economic projects, it will be," said Luzerne County Manager David Pedri.

It's always possible that HQ2 will take on more than one location. If so, we're available.

"I think there's a real possibility, if they take a different kind of tactic, that they may look at northeastern Pennsylvania as the perfect location for certain aspects of what they're going to do," said Bob Durkin, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

Amazon says it's new development is expected to bring about 50,000 new jobs over 10 to 15 years at salaries around $100,000.

28 comments

  • Get real

    Jobs for those unwilling to get specialized and technical educations will soon be gone. Here’s some sad facts. Coal isn’t coming back. Within a generation trucks will be outmoded by semi-autonomous mega -container systems. Robots will be doing more and more of the menial tasks. Banks don’t need tellers. Brick and mortar retail is nearly dead. The US does not invest in advanced transport or renewable energy systems and will soon fall to China and India and will be buying this technology from them. Worse we are making it more difficult now for bright technology-savvy immigrants to come here to the point where defense contractors can’t find the talent they need. America is at the bottom of the world list in education in every area. Unless we value education, science and research again things will get very bad, very quickly. Welcome to the third world. The decline of NEPA is a simple demonstration of the decline of our ability to innovate as a nation.

    • Robert

      I’ll agree with china, or even a country like Saudi. But India not by a long shot. Their problems with pollution, population and health issues will render India even more dysfunctional than the American version of a economic Apartheid.

      • look in the miror

        Robert: India has its problems — no doubt. But the new Prime Minister is making heavy investments in science and technology. They have a respectable space program and Banglore is a center of innovation that may soon rival Silicon Valley. (There is a lot of talent there!)

  • yuiki

    It’s not a prime location for McDonald’s. Please stop running this story. There is no way they’re coming here

  • Janet

    Maybe if amazon CEOs are sex deprived pedos. They’re the only people attracted to this area. Go high school football! You see how tight those uniforms are!!! But seriously, Amazon will be so impressed with all of those really smart (self described) “leaders” in NEPA. Like SEDCO hahaha, big brains there!

    • Dreama

      I’m no beauty queen myself but I have to say some of those people really I mean really should not be wearing those uniforms !

    • Patty from pittston

      Truer words have never been spoken! High school sports are a plague. Most of the “athletes” end up hooked on crank or mollies or dead-end social service jobs. No intelligent or caring parent would subject their kids to high school athletics. The man-children that prop up this loser culture by attending games to “support” kids’ dreams and enjoyment are equally culpable. What a bunch of loser dirtbags.

  • Huggy

    There’s a good chance that the skooks will talk about amazon setting up shop there. One of their big doings rumors. Amazon will never even consider it. Everyone keeps laughing at schuylkill county schunts

  • Berrios

    I think a city in the African country of Niger has a better chance then this blighted backward pedo loving dump.

  • commentswithabrain

    238 areas are in the running to be HQ2. The tech sector isn’t here, the infrastructure isn’t here, and the required population isn’t here – We are NOT going to be HQ2. Take that to the bank. With that being said it’s IRRESPONSIBLE to get people excited for a huge influx of jobs when it’s clear that NEPA is the least likely region to be selected. Instead of the constant ‘feel good fluff’ stories how about you focus on what we need to do in order to become a viable candidate for attracting big business WNEP? Keep in mind this is NOT trashing the people in NEPA in the least; our people have LOTS to offer but the local governments are not serving our interests and until that changes nothing else will..

    • Miketodd

      If you think nepa has a even a slight chance, your getting sold as bad as a greasy used car salesman selling 4wheel drive snow plows in key West or perhaps have an iq of a snail.

  • PEATER MOSS

    Amazon says it’s new development is expected to bring about 50,000 new jobs over 10 to 15 years at salaries around $100,000.

    FAT CHANCE !!

    • pamela

      Honestly! being employed in Human resources including employment staffing for 15 years, growing up in NEPA and living and working in other 5 states. NEPA has no shot in the world. The infrastructure is tepid and outdated. The WB airport is small and limited in destinations. The workforce cannot even staff low skilled distribution jobs due to the drug addiction problem here. So how on earth would they staff college graduate level, skilled positions when most people wanna move out for better weather, lower taxes and nicer scenery. I didn’t look at the other metros on the list, but it would have to be on the bottom.

    • pamela

      They cannot even staff those. They got to use staffing agencies to assist. They are trying to get tax loopholes from depressed areas to lure them in. Being right near the interstate helps. if it wasnt for that it would be no chance to even get those .

  • Robert

    This is proof that WNEP is as stupid as any PA politician that thinks Amazon will invest in a state that has not invested in itself and cannot pass a budget without a “structural deficit”. There is no infrastructure in place anywhere in PA that can support this type of operation. For such a development to proceed here in NEPA, Amazon would have to rebuild the entire infrastructure and pay to rehab the workforce so it can pass a drug test. That’s just for starters. You won’t lure them in with tax breaks to NEPA or anywhere in PA. Taxes beyond the scope of the exemptions will still prove burdensome (fuel, electrical, road, vehicle) compared with large metropolitan areas in other states that have a real global connection and will offer the same tax incentives to build. Locations with local talent requires a potential workforce to be educated and that eliminates PA as well. Educated drug free workforce, functional infrastructure, functional government have to be 3 major considerations. STRIKE 3 for NEPA!

  • Tinytom

    Out of 238 bids Nepa will be dead last. There’s. No chance. Denver and Tampa aren’t even in the top 10.

    • SMDH

      Your comment is part of the attitudinal problem with the area; one that is deeply rooted in the culture and another of the many reasons why Amazon would NEVER locate HQ2 in NEPA. I’m suprised you didn’t use the term “big shot” somewhere in your comment or any one of a number of jealousy-laden terms that are part of the common vernacular of the area. It’s so bad that even the so-called “editorial journalists” like Chris Kelly speak in those terms regularly if you read his pathetic drivel in the Scranton Times (I can’t make it past his first or second sentence without a barf bag). Robert’s and Pamela’s comments are both spot on. The continuous multi-generational brain drain of young people exiting the area for better employment opportunities and a more enhanced social environment has greatly taken its toll on NEPA and as such neither the employment pool nor the area’s infrastructure will support a world-class organization that requires thousands of highly skilled white collar workers who want a quality life, good transportation, and a rich social environment after work hours. Why WNEP keeps trotting this story out is just ridiculous—and another prime indicator that there is so little positive and encouraging news to report that it has to almost make up pie-in-the-sky dreams to fill their newscasts and website. As one of the posters said, WNEP would do better to focus more on reporting about initiatives that would improve the area and make it a viable candidate in the future. Perhaps a partnership with the many colleges and “Da U” to help bring to light some of these kinds of ideas would be a far better public service than serving up nonsense like this story; another euphoric pipe dream that will only leave the area with another hangover after the announcement is made. Come on, Stacy Lange–you can do better than this.

      • captain kirk

        SMDH, I know you live in Tampa, And Tampa Bay has some huge Fortune 500 companies by the Tampa Airport, Downtown Tampa and in ST pete Carillon that they could showcase to Amazon. What does NEPA have yuengling? But so does Tampa and that is not even a big deal there. Honestly many locals dont even know its there. Tampa Bay has 5,000 people who moved there in 6 months. 3,000 people move out of NEPA in 6 months. No one wants to live there but government jobbers and jersey hustlers. Theres no demand.

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