How Chicago can win Amazon’s 50,000 jobs

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SACRAMENTO, CA - AUGUST 10: A worker makes repairs to a wall at a new Amazon fulfillment center on August 10, 2017 in Sacramento, California. Amazon is preparing to open a new 855,000-square-foot warehouse, the tenth in California, by early October and is expected to hire nearly 1,500 people. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Editorial Board

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, is also — suddenly — one of the most important figures in Chicago. His Thursday announcement that Seattle-based Amazon is searching for a North American location in which to establish a second headquarters puts this city in the running for an extraordinary prize.

The powerhouse digital retailer plans to invest $5 billion to create a massive office complex that in time could employ 50,000 people. These would be great-paying tech, white-collar and other positions in such vast numbers they could transform the economy and identity of whichever city Amazon chooses. As one commentator noted, the nearest comparison might be the competition to choose an Olympic host city — except Amazon’s jobs won’t disappear after three weeks.

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