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Amazon to hire 800 more people in Austin

Amazon will hire 800 employees for a variety of tech jobs at its new development in north Austin, Texas, the company announced Thursday.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Amazon said it will hire the employees over "the next several years" to work in four floors the company has leased in a tower being constructed at a business and shopping development in the city.

The hirings will add to Amazon's already significant presence in the area: The company employs 6,600 people in Austin already, and its grocery store chain Whole Foods is headquartered in the city.

“We’ve become quite critical to the company with respect to what we build here," Amazon's lead site operator in Texas told the Statesman. "Having a place outside of Seattle that we can recruit to and develop people and hire from is critical because we have been very successful here about gathering local talent.”

Company representatives confirmed to the newspaper that the development was unrelated to scrapped plans to bring an Amazon headquarters to New York City's Queens neighborhood, which was resisted by local activists and some politicians such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Austin previously was a finalist for the headquarters' planned location, though the project was eventually decided to be split between New York and Arlington, Va. Following Amazon's pullout from the New York deal, a new location for the facility has not been announced.

"The excitement around Amazon in Austin and the people that work for Amazon is at an all-time high," the Amazon representative added. “We’re not just glad to be here, we have a lot of pride.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) celebrated the decision, telling the Statesman that "Texas will continue to chart a path toward greater economic prosperity" with Amazon's continued investments in the state.