Retail giant Amazon announced New York City and Northern Virginia as the split sites for its new headquarters, projects which will bring about 25,000 jobs to each region, respectively according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Northern Virginia announcement figures to have a major role for proximate colleges and universities in the region, and several leaders from HBCUs have weighed in on the announcement.
Presidents in DC and Virginia envision a new wave of workforce development opportunities.
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick
“Howard University trains students in a variety of majors and disciplines that will be of interest to Amazon as they relocate to the DMV area. This move demonstrates the company’s desire to reach a diverse and well-trained workforce through the establishment of a headquarters in a location that speaks to the needs of employees who desire the benefits of a metropolitan lifestyle. We look forward to working with Amazon to connect them with our graduates in the coming years.”
Virginia State University President Makola Abdullah
“We are truly honored to be a part of this historic opportunity which will transform our communities and industries in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now more than ever, computer science and technology has become increasingly essential in our everyday lives. This opportunity will provide a conduit for our graduates to remain residents in the Commonwealth. They would be able to fulfill their dreams by blazing new pathways in computer science, computer engineering, logistics, and system management. Our nation’s competitiveness in the new technology-based economy depends upon Virginia State University and others’ ability to prepare and empower the next generation of technology experts who will revolutionize our future.”
University of the District of Columbia President Ronald Mason
“We are regenerating UDC as a model urban university. We look forward to the possibility of working with Amazon to diversify its workforce through the many partnership opportunities available with our workforce certification, associate, bachelor, master and doctorate degree programs.”
Norfolk State University Interim President Melvin Stith
“At Norfolk State University we see the future in our students and welcome the news that Amazon’s HQ2 will be based right here in Virginia. As a student-centered University, NSU stands ready to partner with one of the world’s most customer-centric companies. With respected programs in computer science, engineering, cybersecurity and business, Norfolk State is well positioned to support Amazon in fulfilling its ongoing commitment to building a highly skilled, diverse and innovative workforce.”