Apple is looking to add at least twenty thousand employees to its existing 90,000-strong workforce across the United States.
In a major announcement on Thursday (Dec 13), the Cupertino tech giant said it plans to spend in excess of $1 billion to build a brand new campus in Austin, Texas, that would eventually employ 15,000 workers.
It is part of the company’s three-year expansion drive to build new facilities in Seattle, San Diego, Culver City, Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colorado, with a strong likelihood of more such facilities coming up in other US cities in the longer term.
“Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” company CEO, Tim Cook said in a Thursday press release.
“Talent, creativity and tomorrow’s breakthrough ideas aren’t limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we’re redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide,” Cook said.
The iPhone manufacturer is apparently living up to its January promise of generating employment for at least 20,000 people across the nation by 2023, having already created 6,000 jobs in the U.S. as the year comes to a close.
Apple’s massive investment plans in the US comes on the back of last year’s tax cuts, which led the company to bring back a big chunk of the $252 billion it had stashed away in foreign accounts to defer taxes on its overseas earnings.
Apple will initially employ 5,000 new employees at the Austin campus, which is not even a mile from its existing facilities in the Texan city.
Austin, by the way, is already home to the largest population of Apple employees outside of the company’s home base in Cupertino, California.
Spread over 133 acres of land, the sprawling new space will eventually accommodate 15,000 employees, making Apple the biggest private employer in Austin, when it does happen.
“Apple is among the world’s most innovative companies and an avid creator of jobs in Texas and across the country,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said about the proposed expansion.
“Their decision to expand operations in our state is a testament to the high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment that Texas offers,” he said.
“I thank Apple for this tremendous investment in Texas, and I look forward to building upon our strong partnership to create an even brighter future for the Lone Star State,” Abbott added.
According to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Apple has been a significant part of the Austin community for more than two and a half decades and the state was “thrilled” that the company was planning to invest even more in the city.
“Apple and Austin share a creative spark and a commitment to getting big things done.,” Adler said, adding that the state shared its “commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
“We’re excited they are bringing more middle-skilled jobs to the area,” he said.
“And we’re particularly gratified by their commitment to providing a great place to work for a large and growing number of America’s veterans,” the mayor added.
The Steve Jobs-founded company is looking to invest a whopping $10 billion in data centers across the country over the next five years, with plans of spending nearly half of it by the end of 2019.
Work is already underway to expand the company’s existing data centers in North Carolina, Arizona, and Nevada, in addition to a new 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center being planned for Waukee, Iowa, to boost its iMessage, Siri, the App Store and other services in the country.
The announcement comes not too long after sources familiar with the project told The New York Times that Amazon was in the process of finalizing plans to add not one but two HQ2 locations, including one in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens and another in the Crystal City area of Arlington, Virginia.
The informed insiders also told the newspaper that the company was planning to hire 50,000 workers in both locations.
According to the paper, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met with Amazon executives in October in connection with a deal that could potentially translate to hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies for Apple.
“I am doing everything I can,” Governor Cuomo told reporters in November about the ongoing talks with Amazon, adding that the state had “a great incentive package” for the online retail giant.
“I’ll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that’s what it takes,” Cuomo quipped, “because it would be a great economic boost.”
Until earlier this year, Amazon had been on the hunt for a single location to build its second headquarters, dubbed HQ2.
In January it announced the names of 20 potential cities it had shortlisted from a total of 238 applicants.
With the kind of job creation and monetary incentives on offer, it was a hard-fought competition between the finalists, something that Amazon may have been looking to take advantage of, in terms of bargaining for extra perks like subsidies, tax holidays and the likes.
There were quite a few interesting campaigns by competing cities to win the HQ2 bid.
Stonecrest, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, pledged 345 acres of land to Amazon to establish its very own city around its new headquarter.
Sun Corridor, a Tucson-based economic development company in Arizona, looking to push the city’s bid, tried to gift Amazon a cactus measuring 21 feet, but it was rejected as it went against the retailer’s corporate gifts policy. The giant cactus ended up at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.
A Pittsburgh-based sandwich-shop chain said it would provide free sandwiches to Amazon workers if the company selected the city as the location for its HQ2.
In another promotional gimmick, Kansas City mayor Sly James bought 1,000 Amazon products and donated them to charity. Not only that, he wrote 5-star reviews for all of them with positive Kansas City attributes mentioned in each review.
Birmingham, Alabama, sent out pre-generated tweets through Amazon dash buttons it built around public places along with huge Amazon boxes
Apple and Amazon are not the only West Coast companies with expansion plans, as Google is also well on course to expand its high-tech presence in New York City.
If the company manages to seal the deal for its target 1.3 million-square-foot office space at the St. John’s Terminal building on Manhattan’s West Side, it would open the door for 12,000 new workers – nearly twice its existing workforce in the city.