Hey Amazon! We'll take some of those jobs up here

November 27, 2018 06:50 PM

Here's a thought. 

Amazon is coming to New York City. Queens won part of the company's world headquarter competition.


So why not get some of that Amazon work upstate? That's the argument from a former economic development official in the state.

The official, David Catalfamo, worked on the campaign of Republican Mark Molinaro who ran against Governor Andrew Cuomo in the last election. But Catalfamo likes the state's deal with Amazon. 

And now, he says the governor should be pushing Amazon to bring some of those jobs upstate. 

In his blog posted Tuesday, Catalfamo says the state should be driving Amazon up here. He titled it, "Put Amazon to Work." 

Amazon picked New York City and northern Virginia after a year-long competition for its second world headquarters. 

New York City is getting 25,000 Amazon jobs.

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Let's say you were at the table across from Amazon, how would you convince Amazon to move part of this New York City work upstate?"

David Catalfamo: "I would be doing a scan of the upstate colleges and universities and say these are folks doing research in the areas that you care about."

"It's kind of an argument we made during our proposal," said Matt Hurlbutt, CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. Hurlbutt and GRE led the Rochester-Buffalo Amazon pitch. 

Brean: "What's the likelihood that Amazon would do this?"

Matt Hurlbutt, CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise: "Well, I like to think there's a high likelihood that we've got opportunity with a company like Amazon and others. And in fact, I know that because we're talking to other companies that are engaged in software development, information technology, artificial intelligence." 

News10NBC took the idea of encouraging Amazon upstate to former lieutenant governor and now Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy. 

Brean: "I'm wondering if that's happening or going to happen."

Bob Duffy, president of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce: "Berkeley, I think we have. I go back, long before the HQ2 competition, I wrote two letters to Jeff Bezos."

That's Jeff Bezos, Amazon's leader.

In the letter, Duffy mentions the packaging science program at RIT which News10NBC told you about last year. That gets us back to that research Amazon cares about. 

"So, they are very well aware of Rochester and what we offer," Duffy said. 

News10NBC contacted Amazon and the governor's office but we have not received a response as of 6 p.m. Tuesday.

But the next time we see the governor, we will ask him about this. 

News10NBC looked at Amazon's track record. It's based in Seattle and has not moved jobs to other parts of Washington state. 


Berkeley Brean

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