Amazon plans Vancouver, BC, Boston growth

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Vancouver has the skills and bodies to fill Amazon's employee needs according to a local computer science professor, as the tech giant prepares to open a new office in Vancouver and hire upwards of 3,000 people. Since Donald Trump became president with the pledge to create thousands of new jobs, USA companies have been eager to tout hiring plans even if they've been previously announced.

Amazon's expansion is another vote of confidence in Vancouver's growing technology scene, which has been bolstered by Canada's relatively open guest-worker laws and its proximity to technology giants in the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Seattle.

Amazon said the new 416,000 square foot tech hub, called the "Development Centre", will be built on top of a re-developed post office building and is expected to open in 2022.

Toronto was the only Canadian city to make the final cut for Amazon's second headquarters; however, the company is opening a second corporate office in Vancouver.

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QuadReal Property Group, which is managing the redevelopment of the site, said in a statement that Amazon will occupy 35 per cent of the more than one million square feet of total office space in the renovated postal complex, which is across the street from the main branch of the Vancouver public library system. Vancouver applied, but was not among the finalists for the project, which Amazon says it hopes to staff with 50,000 people.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was present at the announcement to mark the company's latest investment in Canada, "Our vibrant cities, which are home to some of the best talent in the world, are poised to attract premier investment that creates the jobs of tomorrow". The company expects to have approximately 5,000 employees in Vancouver in the near future, GeekWire reports.

Amazon bought Kiva Systems, a robotics company based in the Boston suburb of North Reading, in 2012.

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