With a workforce rich in entrepreneurial spirit, Amazon would be wise to tap Kansas City for its second headquarters, Michael Copeland said.
“The climate has cultivated world-class start-up businesses and nurtured corporate giants, and it’s been a source of support and stability for everything in between,” said Copeland, mayor of Olathe. “It fosters risk-taking and innovation, and it’s fueled by a workforce with strong values, a tremendous work ethic, loyalty, and commitment.”
The suburban mayor’s comments were released Thursday alongside those of more than a dozen local and state officials who support Kansas City’s regional bid for Amazon’s new headquarters. The company announced in September plans to build its “HQ2”, encouraging North American cities to submit proposals to land the $5 billion prospect and its 55,000 jobs.
Simply put, Kansas City is a great place to do business, said Copeland, notably one of a handful of Kansas officials specifically mentioned as participants in the KC-based effort. As Olathe mayor, Copeland serves innovators of all stripes, from those in Digital Sandbox KC’s local program to meal kit service Happy Food Co. and tech powerhouse Garmin.
“So many people have moved here from across the country to work in our many leading companies, but you would be hard pressed to find any who ever want to leave,” Copeland added.
The Kansas City Area Development Council revealed Thursday that top officials from Kansas and Missouri, as well as more than 200 private sector leaders, were among those crafting Kansas City’s pitch to Amazon. Proposals were due to the online retail giant Thursday.
“We have been preparing for an opportunity like Amazon’s HQ2 for a generation,” said Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, who is expected to become governor this fall when Sam Brownback is officially confirmed as U.S. as ambassador at large for international religious freedom. “We want to create with Amazon the most prosperous and livable region in North America, right here in the heart of it.”
Other Kansas officials echoed the sentiment that Kansas City’s strength lies its values.
“Upon arriving in Kansas City, Amazon would quickly learn what many of us who came here have known for years — this is a region of smart, hard-working individuals committed to providing opportunities for everyone to grow and prosper,” said Ed Eilert, Johnson County Commission chair. “Amazon’s second headquarters would be well-placed in the Heartland, with access to an excellent workforce, a lower cost of living, world-class schools, parks and libraries, and a vibrant regional culture. Johnson County would proudly welcome Amazon to the metro.”