Internet retail behemoth Amazon recently announced plans to establish a second corporate campus, sending cities nationwide into a clamor for the Seattle-based company’s favor. Prince George’s County is among the anticipated throng of regions and cities who will respond to Amazon’s request for proposal and according to County Executive Rusher L. Baker III, the county is poised to make a competitive bid.

(Nick Ansell/PA Wire via AP Images)

“Companies like 2U and Kaiser Permanente realize that Prince George’s County is the place to be. We are ‘Primed’ and ready to bring a company like Amazon to the National Capital Region and I am very excited about this opportunity,” Baker said in a statement.

Amazon promises to invest $5 billion into whichever city or region it selects. And while the incentive is attractive, requirements for the project are specific and rigorous. Amazon demands an infrastructure that supports 50,000 employees, an 8.1 million-square-foot landscape, and proximity to multiple higher education institutions. Proposals are due on Oct. 19.

Winning the bid would bring unprecedented development and job opportunities to the county, whose largest business operations – the University System of Maryland and Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility – employ 18,726 and 17,500, respectively.

“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.”

Although cities like Mitchellville, Bowie and Fort Washington boast median family incomes that exceed $100,000 annually, the latest Census Bureau estimate indicates 9.3 percent of county resident live below the poverty line. In 2016, Blacks accounted for 75 percent of the unemployed in Prince George’s County, according to research conducted by the Brookings Institution. The windfall of high-salary job opportunities will perhaps be the greatest benefit local Blacks will see, according to Latanya Brown-Robertson, associate professor in the Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics at Bowie State University.

“With Amazon coming to the area it would create new jobs, mainly in the highly skilled area,” she said. “We’re dealing with the increase of additional, more professional services industry, which is one of the highest represented industries we have in the area.”

Should Prince George’s County win the bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, Brown says policymakers should consider using funds from the company’s $5 billion investment to promote advancement for lower-income county residents with programs designed to advance education and housing opportunities. “Programs could be things like universal pre-K, investment in K-12 education, affordable housing and different types of scholarships for students that come from low-income communities and that are part of the 9.3 percent on the poverty line,” Brown said.

In recent years, the county has welcomed numerous development projects that have netted billions of dollars. The $1.4-billion MGM National Harbor Resort is one of Prince George’s County’s latest economic conquests, along with the Regional Medical Center in Largo, Md., the FBI headquarters, and the Purple Line. In the past six years alone, the county has garnered nearly $10 billion in economic development opportunities, according to statistics released by the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation.

According to a statement released by his office, Baker has already harnessed state and municipal partners to analyze locations that will make the county a probable competitor in the bidding process.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also announced on Sept. 14 that the city would also submit a proposal for Amazon’s second headquarters.

The announcement was made through a video that highlights D.C. as a thriving tech sector with vibrant and creative neighborhoods and a growing and expanding business community.

“For many reasons – the same reasons that nearly 1,000 people choose to move to our city each month – Washington, D.C. is an ideal location for Amazon HQ2,” Bowser said in a statement. “With our growing tech scene, talented and diverse workforce, and inclusive environment, Washington, DC is well-positioned to welcome Amazon.”