Palestine backs the ’Burgh in Amazon quest

EAST PALESTINE — A local chamber director would like to see the Amazon company select Pittsburgh as the location for its second headquarters.

Chamber director Larry Duck provided the East Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce with a letter of support he would like the organization to send to Pittsburgh officials for inclusion in its proposal as an Amazon location.

“It’s a long shot,” he admitted, referring to the fact that many cities are jumping on the chance to have Amazon locate in their areas since the additional headquarters would mean job growth and a $5 billion investment in the construction of the facility.

Despite the long shot, however, Duck pointed out that Pittsburgh meets most of the company’s criteria for a second location, which includes being a metropolitan area with a population over 1 million, easy access to major highways and a nearby international airport, a diverse population, access to a qualified workforce and technology and education resources.

Amazon announced in early September there was a need for a second headquarters outside of the original headquarters in Seattle.

The company is taking bids from interested cities in North America that meet its publicly stated requirements.

The company also announced it plans to house a staff of 50,000 at the new location.

Duck believes that having the headquarters in Pittsburgh could benefit East Palestine and surrounding area since the major city is only roughly 50 miles away.

He said he drafted the letter on the chamber’s behalf and encouraged their approval to send it to the Pittsburgh HQ2 Committee at Two PNC Plaza.

“The city of Pittsburgh is surrounded in all directions by smaller towns and communities that would welcome new residents and the economic growth that would be realized by locating Amazon’s second headquarters in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area,” the letter stated.

It also stated that the region offers the best of both worlds for urban and rural/suburban living for any new residents.

“We hope that you will give serious consideration to the Pittsburgh proposal as being the best and obvious choice for the location of the new corporate headquarters,” it said.

The chamber approved sending the letter.