Philadelphia landed at the bottom of The Washington Post’s new ranking of the 20 finalist cities for Amazon’s second headquarters. The ranking reflected the progress made by the cities towards "building tech economies."
According to Philadelphia Magazine, the cities were ranked based on several factors including the number of highly-skilled workers, the growth of local digital service companies, the number of jobs in STEM, and the proportion of income spent on housing and transportation.
Philadelphia’s low ranking can be explained by the city’s lack of digital service growth and low attractiveness to workers, according to research done by Brookings Institution and other analysts. The index also noted Pennsylvania's heavy debt payments as a potential issue for Amazon's infrastructure.
Brookings Institution fellow Joseph Parilla told The Post, however, that Philadelphia is still “poised for growth.”
The list of finalists was narrowed down to 20 cities from more than 230 cities that were in the running for the winning spot since Amazon announced its search in September 2017.
If Amazon were to select Philadelphia, the company’s second headquarters could be located less than a mile from Penn. Within Philadelphia, two of the three proposed locations to construct the headquarters are in University City and West Philadelphia.
Penn students and faculty have joined Philadelphia's efforts to host the new headquarters. In October, Wharton faculty and the city of Philadelphia partnered to hold the Wharton-Amazon Writing Competition. The competition required participants to write memos on behalf of the city arguing that Amazon should choose Philadelphia to host its new headquarters.
“Philadelphia has so much to offer for any innovative company – top talent, ideas and creativity from our universities, partnerships with global companies, one of the best health care systems in the world, and a city rich with culture as well as a high quality of life," Gutmann said.