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Dallas Leaders React To Amazon's Rejection Of The City For Its Next Headquarters

The Dallas skyline from the Houston Street viaduct in 2012.
Associated Press
The Dallas skyline from the Houston Street viaduct in 2012.

After learning Tuesday that Dallas won't be home to the next Amazon headquarters — the prize instead goes to New York and Northern Virginia — city leaders say they learned some lessons from the application process.

At a press conference with the Dallas Regional Chamber on Tuesday, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings got right to the point.

"I like to win,” Mayor Rawlings said. “So my heart's broken today. But I will tell you, we are leaps and bounds better as a city because we went through this.”

Rawlings said Amazon offered two reasons Dallas failed to secure one of the headquarters: The company held a fascination with east coast; and, to hire the people it needed now, only New York and northern Virginia offered enough qualified workers.

Rawlings said this national competition is a reminder that Texas needs to improve its education, “making sure our schools are the best in America. We are short of that today. We’ve got to work harder on it.”

Rawlings also said Texas lawmakers need to help.

"We must stay focused with our legislators in Austin to make sure they're spending money in public and higher education. This is imperative for our state to do it,” Rawlings said. “If our state does not do this then we will not compete with these cities.”

Bernard Weinstein understands the need to stay competitive. However, the SMU economist at the Cox School of Business says North Texas is already competitive.  

“Since the great recession ended. We have added more people and more jobs than any other metropolitan area place in country," Weinstein said. "We have a tremendously diverse and dynamic economy, we have lots of tech-focused employers. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about going forward.”

Weinstein said Rawlings is concerned about the right issues like education, but as long as businesses keep moving to Texas, Weinstein said we should just "keep on keepin’ on."

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.