A united front to put together a response to Amazon’s request for proposals to land its $5 billion HQ2 project and some 50,000 jobs is being put together by local business and economic development teams. A group met on Tuesday. Here’s a look at what’s happening.

“The Research Triangle region has a long history of strong collaboration working projects, and this RFP is no exception. Economic development teams and business leaders from the RTP, Wake, Durham, Orange, and Chatham are all working together with EDPNC [Economic development Partnership for North Carolina] to submit a joint bid to bring Amazon HQ2 to North Carolina.”

So says Ryan Combs, Executive Director of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, who participated in the meeting.

“Our development organizations from the region are currently fine-tuning the response to Amazon that is due in mid-October.”

A recent report by Bloomberg News and an op/ed in the New York Times identified the Triangle as a likely contender.

The spade work

Amazon’s disclosure earlier this month that it wants RFPs for the project set off a flurry of activity across the country as cities, regions and states race to make their case for the mammoth project.

A united front is key to the Triangle region’s hopes, according to Combs.

“We all believe it is crucial to showcase the unique strengths and assets that each community provides, while simultaneously marketing the overwhelming strength that the Research Triangle Region brings to the table,” he explained.

“With the talent coming out of our university and community college system, the thriving business ecosystem, and our excellent quality of life, we believe our region will be very competitive in the selection process.”

Q&A with Combs

Developer John Kane, who is the driving force behind Raleigh’s North Hills rebirth and chair of the RTRPboard, earlier told The Skinny that the partnership is ready to help in preparing a bid and then negotiating with Amazon. He also stressed, however, that government officials need to lead.

Combs explained in an earlier Q&A with The Skinny that the Triangle region meets many of Amazon’s requirements, such as workforce availability and quality of life.

“Our region already has some of the best trained, most diverse talent in the software development and technology fields,” he said.

“The Research Triangle also boasts three major universities and a best-in-class community college system with a proven track record of working with businesses like Amazon to produce the kind of talent they will need to grow and thrive.”

Combs also pointed out the Triangle’s access from a logistics point of view – certainly important to the ecommerce giant.

“The Research Triangle Region is uniquely positioned on the East Coast, halfway between New York and Florida, with access to three major ports, robust highway and rail systems, and a rapidly growing international airport,” he pointed out.

“This is precisely the kind of opportunity that the Research Triangle Regional Partnership was developed to pursue – our 11 member counties are prepared to work together to educate Amazon on the myriad benefits our growing region offers.”