By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– Many of the people who could potentially be hired by Amazon if the company picks Denver for HQ2, think that will only be good for the job market.
“There is a lot of really talented people that are being educated in Colorado and I think Colorado and amazon would do really well to keep us here,” said Holly Radcliffe, a senior at Metro State University. “I think (Amazon) coming in would be very beneficial to us. We’re definitely looking for jobs and there’s a lot of us from Metro and other campuses in Colorado. We’re definitely out here looking for jobs.”
Radcliffe is majoring in computer science and has only one semester left before she starts looking for a permanent job. Many of the software engineering classes at MSU are at capacity and have lengthy waiting lists.
“Metro is super helpful in helping people get jobs before you graduate. I was contacted directly by the woman who runs our internship program and that’s how I got my job at Lockheed Martin,” Radcliffe said.
But her internship isn’t permanent. So Radcliffe and many other students are seeing if Amazon picking Denver could mean more opportunities in the job market. Software engineers are already in high demand in Denver.
“The tech industry here is definitely growing and it’s going to continue growing,” Radcliffe said. “Even without thinking about Amazon I think I feel very comfortable getting a job in Colorado.”
A major part of the pitch from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation to Amazon was centered around the high-skilled workforce in Colorado.
“We have the second most highly educated workforce in the United States. We’re building the talent pipeline into the future so that amazon, if they chose here, not only has good talented today but has good talent moving forward,” said J.J. Ament the Metro Denver EDC CEO.
While job applicants are excited for more opportunity some around Denver are concerned with the growth and unintended consequences Amazon could bring like higher rent or real estate prices. Ament says if Amazon doesn’t pick Denver plenty of other companies already are.
“Amazon is talking about bringing as many as 50,000 high paying jobs to our region over the next 10 to 15 years and that sounds like a lot. But you need to keep that in perspective. That’s as many jobs in 10 to 15 years as our community has added in the last 11 months,” Ament said.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.