North Carolina is home to the second largest amount of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the country and the state thinks this fact may give them a competitive advantage in winning the Amazon and Apple location bids. With Alabama being first among HBCU amount but not having a city among the 20 finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters, North Carolina will look to label itself as top for diversity for corporations that value it like Amazon has claimed. One of its top schools, “North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro produces more black engineers than any school in the country, according to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which has been tracking issues like this for years.”
While both Amazon and Apple are exploring all their options (Amazon plans a second headquarters with up to 50,000 jobs and Apple wants a new campus as part of a broader plan to add up to 20,000 jobs), the companies both have made public commitments to connect with underrepresented communities over the past few years. “Apple announced plans three years ago to give $50 million to nonprofits that will train more women and minorities for tech jobs” and “Amazon has said it’s putting $60 million into a similar effort on coding.”
According to Andre Perry, a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, if Amazon is serious about advancing diversity, the top five cities they should consider include Raleigh, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Denver, CO, Austin, TX, and Nashville, TN.
Whether this can be the point that pushes North Carolina over the top is not know, but for now every state is looking to give their cities an upper hand in a battle that will easily bring millions to the city selected and make it a flourishing hub for years to come.