Amazon says it will still honour its agreements to assist New York City schools after yanking HQ2

  • Amazon has pulled out of its plan to build a headquarters in the New York City borough of Queens, the company announced on Thursday.
  • It will, however, abide by its commitments to partner with more than 130 New York City high schools for the Amazon Future Engineer program, as well as with the City University of New York to develop a cloud-computing certificate program.
  • Amazon already has more than 5,000 employees in New York, and it will likely continue to invest in the city despite the high-profile HQ2 pull-out.

Amazon is cancelling its HQ2 project for New York, but it isn’t abandoning the city.

Though the company is not planning on developing glassy towers in Long Island City, Queens, it is still planning to abide by its commitments to foster education in the region, according to an Amazon spokesperson.

Amazon executives announced the plans during its second hearing with the New York City Council in January.

In the hearing, Amazon pledged to work with more than 130 New York City high schools for the Amazon Future Engineer program. The company said it would partner with local high schools to enable an enhanced consumer science curriculum and scholarships for students.

Read more:
Amazon unveiled a new set of plans to win over New Yorkers to HQ2 as both sides dig in

“Amazon Future Engineer will continue to support the more than 130 schools that are part of our Amazon Future Engineer program,” an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider on Friday. “This is a national program that we are continuing to grow across the country to provide computer science access to all students.”

More uniquely to New York, Amazon said it would also help to develop a certificate program for local colleges CUNY and SUNY. The program is to be focused on cloud-computing technology, and Amazon said it would enable students to reach entry-level jobs in a fast-growing field. Classes will begin in the fall, it said.

Both education initiatives were designed to curry favour in the face of local backlash, but they also support Amazon’s interests. Amazon is still far and away the leader in cloud computing, and an accessible certificate program could help diversify the workforce that is eligible for those jobs, the openings for which will likely balloon in the coming years.

Amazon already has over 5,000 employees in New York, and it said it would continue to invest in the city despite the HQ2 pull-out.

“We hope to have future chances to collaborate as we continue to build our presence in New York over time,” the company wrote in the blog post announcing the HQ2 project cancellation.

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