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How Amazon Chose Denver For Hundreds Of Jobs & How It Might Help You

DENVER (CBS4) - When Denver wasn't awarded Amazon's "HQ2" many officials in and around Economic Development knew their work wasn't wasted. On Tuesday, Amazon announced Denver would see growth as a Tech Hub for the company, and with it 400 high-tech jobs.

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Even after the HQ2 announcement in November 2018, officials from Denver and Colorado kept talking with Amazon with the hopes that more jobs would come.

Amazon has been quietly expanding in Colorado for years and not just with fulfillment centers. An office opened in Boulder last year and Amazon bought a Boulder-based robotics startup earlier this month.

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The company expects to employ more than 3,500 people in Colorado throughout the company.

As Amazon adds to the growing tech scene in Denver, there's a need to fill the vacancies.

"We convene what's called the Denver Metro Technology Partnership," said Deborah Cameron, the City of Denver Chief Business Development Officer. "It brings together the education stakeholders, the employers, and gets them in the room talking to each other. The education providers can get to hear directly what the employers needs are and then they go off and develop the programs and services and education programs that can meet the needs of the employers."

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Deborah Cameron (credit: CBS)

Companies are sold on Colorado having one of the highest educated workforces in the country, but as more companies and jobs come, there's a need to fill the gap in skilled workers. Officials say many companies aren't always looking for degree-holding applicants in a specific field.

Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for all US employees. (CNN)

"There's been a whole host of additional educational providers that have relocated here in Denver that are now providing what we call short term credentials," Cameron said.

Many companies are looking to hire Coloradans instead of hiring people that need to relocate.

"(Companies are) happy with two-year degrees, or they're happy with a certificate or other industry-recognized credential," Cameron said.

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