While you’re waiting for Amazon to announce whether Pittsburgh is awarded the company’s HQ2, Amazon has been making plans to increase its technology footprint and employment in Pittsburgh.
On Tuesday, the company announced it will hire 125 tech employees to work in an expanded facility in SouthSide Works. To enable the expansion, Amazon is securing an additional 22,000 square feet of office space.
With its immense growth over the past few years, Amazon has been looking for ways to find top tech talent, wherever it might be. In Pittsburgh, they’ll be growing their talent base for machine translation and speech science, two of the areas that power its popular Alexa product line.
According to Bill Kaper, general manager of Amazon’s Pittsburgh office, the current team of engineers in Pittsburgh primarily focuses on building shopping and entertainment experiences in multiple languages and played a key role in the launch of Amazon.com in Spanish.
“Our Pittsburgh employees love inventing every day on behalf of customers,” Kaper says.
Pittsburgh community leaders are happy about the announcement, as expected. Mayor Bill Peduto thanked Amazon “for their further investment in Pittsburgh,” and added that this is the “latest recognition of the city’s growing talent pool in the engineering, research and tech sectors.”
According to U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle, “It means more good new local jobs, and it enhances our region’s reputation as a national leader in high tech.”
Amazon says it employs more than 566,000 employees worldwide, including 10,000 in Pennsylvania. In addition to the SouthSide Works engineering office, Amazon has operated a distribution center since 2014 in Crafton employing more than 100 workers.