Amazon is asking cities for their high schoolers' SAT scores -- and it's a major hint about its HQ2 priorities

ShutterstockAmazon is looking for a city that has not only strong higher-education institutions, like Georgetown University, but strong primary and secondary schools.

Amazon is pulling out all the stops to ensure it can recruit and retain top talent at the site of its new headquarters, or HQ2.

Amazon is asking for specific statistics from the 20 cities it’s visiting as part of its HQ2 search, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal.

Local high schoolers’ scores on the SAT and the ACT, as well as other “probing questions regarding how much talent Amazon can attract,” have been a topic of conversation during site visits, according to The Journal.

The report helps clarify what Amazon has made a very opaque process.

When it announced the search for its second headquarters, Amazon listed education as an important factor in choosing the site. Most interpreted that as Amazon’s prioritising cities with well-known higher-education institutions, but the focus on college-entrance-exam scores shows that Amazon could be taking a longer-term view of the employee pipeline.

Amazon is also visiting these cities’ trendier areas to ensure they are attractive enough to draw younger workers from all over the US, according to The Journal.

The company said in its request for proposals that it would invest $US5 billion over 10 years in creating its second headquarters in the city it chooses. The project also outlines an influx of 50,000 employees to the area.

Amazon is said to be leaning toward selecting a more urban area to build its campus, which it hopes will be in an area that can absorb the high rate of growth that HQ2 is likely to bring, according to The Journal.

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