Since publishing the story on Jan. 25 that Amazon.com will officially locate a distribution center in Tracy, newsroom phones have rung every day with people asking how they can apply to work for the giant Internet retailer.
The person who wrote the story has received phone calls, emails, even resumes — proof positive that people in Tracy are eager and excited to work.
We understand why many are antsy.
Beyond the obvious need for jobs in our area, there are still many details to learn about Amazon’s project, including when the hiring process will begin and how many jobs the distribution center will actually create.
Early estimates suggest 1,000 jobs will come to Tracy, but initial guesses don’t always pan out. City of Patterson officials said at one time that a center slated for that valley city could create 1,500 jobs, a figure that’s been revised to about 350 by the governor’s office.
No matter how many new positions Amazon ultimately brings to Tracy, they are a boon to our community, and every effort should be made to give local residents a chance to fill them.
City leaders have clearly recognized the importance of creating these types of opportunities. Their deal with Amazon shows City Hall is working to make Tracy less of a Bay Area bedroom and more of a self-sustaining city.
Despite a recession, city leaders foresaw the need to have land ready for large projects and committed to strengthening the Northeast Industrial Area and Cordes Ranch to the west.
Tracy landed Amazon thanks in part to that commitment, in part because staff was accommodating, and in part because of the City Council’s decision to pass sales tax reduction incentives that can benefit companies such as Amazon.
The decision could pay off in more ways than just jobs and tax revenue. Amazon could well be the first domino that tips other companies toward locating in Tracy.
City staff and elected officials have hinted that more big announcements should come before year’s end, suggesting the dominoes are already falling.
Let’s hope they topple in several directions, because business diversity is a key to long-term economic success.
Tracy needs an economy that doesn’t rely on a single industry, as was made clear by the devastating impact of the housing market crash five years ago.
We welcome Amazon with open and excited arms, and would gladly welcome more distribution centers if they promise to provide good-paying jobs and stabilize city tax revenues.
But in the long run, it will take more than one type of business to make Tracy’s economy flourish.