Amazon is gearing up to hire 25,000 new workers near Washington, D.C., where the e-commerce giant could increase local competition among defense companies seeking out skilled veterans.
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Contractors told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday they are worried a recent increase in Pentagon spending on cybersecurity and cloud-computing projects could mean Amazon’s local presence will exacerbate an existing IT worker shortage – where companies covet individuals leaving active-duty military service, with security clearance.
Twenty-five thousand workers is reportedly the equivalent of about one-sixth of the existing local private-sector defense contractor and government IT specialist workforce.
Aerospace and defense companies in the area include Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing.
Amazon declined to comment to the Journal regarding what type of workers it is looking to hire at its new facilities in Virginia. It will also hire 25,000 workers at its other HQ2 location near New York City.
On its Amazon Web Services website, the tech giant states a goal of hiring 25,000 military veterans and spouses by 2021. The e-commerce giant also said it has committed to providing training to 10,000 active duty service members, veterans and spouses through its AWS educate program.
About 210,000 employment-age veterans live near Washington, D.C., according to the Journal. The company cited access to local talent as a key criterion during its HQ2 search.
Another reason Amazon is said to have selected the Arlington, Virginia HQ2 location is because it is close to the Pentagon. A source familiar with the matter told FOX Business in November that its decision to choose the D.C.-area was based on forthcoming, large-scale contracts and a long-time goal to be close to policymakers. The same source told FOX Business the company plans to model its new services on renowned defense contractors that already inhabit the area, like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.
In order to receive the full incentives at its Virginia location, only 10 percent of employees can be working on government contracts.
Amazon is currently one of the contenders for a multi-billion dollar, single-source defense contract with the Pentagon, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI). The JEDI contract could span a decade and may be the Pentagon’s largest yet.
Amazon already holds a $600 million cloud contract with the CIA. Earlier this year, the Pentagon dramatically scaled back the value of a contract it signed with Amazon partner REAN, to $65 million from $950 million. The original five-year agreement — which was legally challenged by Oracle – helps accelerate agencies’ data migration to the cloud.
This story was updated to correct value of CIA cloud contract.