Could jobs be filled if Amazon HQ comes?

AMES - Amazon's looking to set up a new corporate headquarters somewhere in the Midwest, and bring with it 50,000 jobs high-paying jobs. If their proposal is accepted would it be enough to keep Iowans in the state? 

Some ISU students say they would like to stay in state after they graduate. The Amazon Headquarters could be that opportunity. 

"A project like the headquarters facility would be one of those factors that would induce Iowans to stay," said Liesl Eathington, assistant scientist at ISU's Economic Dept.

Liesl recently did a research study about high skilled Iowans in the work force. Her findings indicate people tend to leave the state because the demand for positions aren't here.

"Iowa's structure, the way it evolved kind of industries we have, we don't look quite like the national average," said Eathington. "We tend to need more people with a high school diploma, maybe some post-secondary education, but comparatively, fewer people with a bachelor's degree or higher."

Savannah is included in what Liesl categorizes as "high skilled."

"Growing up I have always been interested in the building and creating of different things," said Savannah Orewiler, an ISU student.

She is a senior studying chemical engineering. She says there aren't a lot of jobs in her specific field that would give her the opportunity to stay. 

Like many millennials, Liesl says they flock to where ever they can get a job. That trend became even more apparent after her research about high qualified Iowans. 

"Looking at the migration flows like we did, it is obvious that these people, all people flow across state lines to find jobs," said Eathington.

Liesl says she doesn't think Iowa is fit for the Amazon Headquarters, but if the state were to be named she thinks it would be a great step in meeting the demand for young, intelligent Iowans to stay local.

"They leave to go find work," said Eathington. "If that work were available here, they would be more likely to stay."

If Amazon did decide to set up camp here, economic experts say it will bring 50,000 jobs. Liesl thinks positions could be filled with natives and out of stater's who are determined to go wherever for work. 

"If that facility is located in Iowa, people would come here, which would be a good thing for Iowa, said Eathington. "We want to attract workers from other states."

Liesl says if the state were to land the Amazon Headquarters it would greatly improve the gap between Iowans and the rest of the nation with high-skilled jobs. 

This proposal is all in the preliminary stages. Iowa has to submit their final request by Oct. 19. 


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