Amazon in the community: Here’s what’s happening in Seattle, Bellevue, and the Puget Sound

Written by Amazon Staff
A photo of the spheres at Amazon's Puget Sound headquarters.


Amazon in the community: Here’s what’s happening in Seattle, Bellevue, and the Puget Sound

Learn how we invest in the community, help power the local economy, and support our employees in the Puget Sound region.

Recent updates

Amazon in the Puget Sound

Looking for the latest news about what’s happening around our Puget Sound headquarters? You’re in the right place.

With more than 75,000 employees here, we continue to invest in the community, help power the local economy, and provide well-paying jobs with leading benefits. As Amazon grows, so does our responsibility to the people and places that we call home.

We’re committed to addressing issues that matter most to the Puget Sound community including affordable housing, education, and homelessness. We offer employment, pre-paid education, and technical skills training to move into higher-paying roles, and up to 20 weeks of paid parental leave across the U.S.

A lot is happening here—be sure to check back regularly to discover the latest about Amazon’s community commitments and how we’re investing and unlocking opportunity for our hometown region.

Learn more about what we’re doing in the Puget Sound region for our employees, neighbors, and the community.


Amazon to help moderate-income residents become homeowners across the Puget Sound

An illustration of the Grand Street Commons apartment building in Seattle, WA.
Grand Street Commons, Seattle, WA.

Amazon’s Housing Equity Fund (HEF) launched a $40 million pilot program that will help up to 800 families and individuals become homeowners, including residents from underserved communities across Puget Sound. The pilot is in partnership with the National Housing Trust (NHT) and will support a range of innovative homeownership models led by local nonprofit organizations in the Puget Sound region (as well as organizations in the Arlington, VA and Washington, D.C. region, and Nashville, TN). NHT will partner with these organizations to acquire and build affordable homes for sale to local residents (the majority of them making below 80% of the area median income).

African Community Housing & Development (ACHD) is one of the Puget Sound-area organizations participating in this initiative. "This funding will allow ACHD to further develop our holistic services and affordable homeownership projects for the African Diaspora community in King County," said Hamdi Abdulle, ACHD Executive Director. "ACHD knows that when we invest in affordable homeownership, we invest in advancing human dignity."

Since 2021, HEF has committed more than $1.7 billion to create or preserve more than 14,000 affordable homes for renters across the company’s hometown communities, including more than 5,300 homes across Puget Sound. Learn more about this pilot program and Amazon’s Commitment to Housing Equity.


Amazon volunteers help keep clean up Seattle parks

Amazon volunteers helping with parks cleanup in Seattle, WA.

Amazon volunteers helped clean up five parks around Seattle as part of Amazon’s Global Month of Volunteering initiative. This is the second year Amazon volunteers participated in the Seattle Parks cleanup activity, where they assisted with picking up litter, weeding, and mulching activities, all in the name of beautifying the parks.

From September 1-30, tens of thousands of Amazon employees will volunteer to support the communities where they live and work, adding to the company’s local investments throughout the year, as part of the Global Month of Volunteering initiative. In collaboration with hundreds of community organizations, employees will help support causes they are passionate about—from climate change, education, and food insecurity, to disaster relief and housing inequity.

Follow what our employees are doing in support of Global Month of Volunteering and beyond.


Amazon’s Washington state investment grows to $225.7 billion

Last week, we released the latest findings from Amazon’s 2023 Economic Impact Report. Since 2010, we’ve invested more than $225.7 billion in Washington state. Keystone Strategy, a third-party consultancy has found that these investments, including infrastructure and compensation to our employees, have helped to expand the local economy and support an additional 487,200 indirect and induced jobs across the state in fields like health care, retail, construction, and education. Additionally, more than $205 billion has been added to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) thanks to our investments and job creation, on top of what we’ve directly invested.

“Amazon is proud of our role in keeping the Puget Sound region and Washington state economic engines running,” said Ron Frierson, director of Economic Development for the Western U.S. at Amazon. “From the hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs we’ve created and supported across the state, to the development of our global headquarters and infrastructure investments, we’re proud of the opportunities we helped to unlock for Washingtonians.”

We also know that our responsibilities here go beyond our business investments, and we’re committed to the causes that matter to the community. In the last two years alone, Amazon has become the largest corporate philanthropist in the Puget Sound region, with more than $174 million donated to local nonprofit groups and charitable organizations. On top of this, we’ve also provided more than $500 million to create and preserve more than 5,300 affordable homes here through the Housing Equity Fund, Amazon’s $2 billion commitment to address the national housing affordability challenges starting in our hometown communities.

Learn more about how Amazon is committed to building a stronger community and powering the local economy.


Amazon gives another $1.7 million to help meet the basic needs of students from underserved communities in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington

Seattle schools supported by the Right Now Needs Fund.

Amazon provided a new $1.7 million donation to Alliance for Education and Bellevue LifeSpring to support the immediate needs of students from underserved communities in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington. These nonprofit organizations will use the contributions to help manage their respective Right Now Needs Funds—programs designed to ensure students in the Puget Sound region have their basic needs covered, from from food to clothes to school supplies. Amazon’s donation includes $1 million to the Alliance for Education to support all 104 schools within the Seattle Public Schools district and $700,000 to Bellevue LifeSpring to support all 30 Bellevue School District schools.

Learn more about how Amazon has supported the needs of students from underserved communities in the Puget Sound region through Right Now Needs Funds.


Amazon Housing Equity Fund Brings minority-led developers together in Seattle

A photo of fellows from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s Housing Equity Accelerator Fellowship (HEAF) program, in front of affordable housing properties under construction in Seattle, Washington.

On October 16 and 17, 2023, 25 fellows from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s Housing Equity Accelerator Fellowship (HEAF) program met in Seattle, Washington to visit several affordable housing developments across the region and to share their experiences as program members—a key goal of the Housing Equity Fund is to support diverse developers and minority-led nonprofits focused on affordable housing.

Visiting fellows toured four affordable housing properties—some that were complete, under construction, and yet to break ground—while learning from local developers at these project sites. Fellows also shared insights regarding how the Amazon Housing Equity Fund is helping them grow their businesses while creating more affordable homes across their respective communities.

A photo of fellows from the Amazon Housing Equity Fund’s Housing Equity Accelerator Fellowship (HEAF) program, in front of affordable housing properties under construction in Seattle, Washington.

Collectively, the Amazon Accelerator program includes 38 diverse developers from the Puget Sound Region, the Arlington, Virginia/ Washington D.C. region, and Nashville, Tennessee. Learn more about the Amazon Housing Equity Fund and its Accelerator program.


Amazon’s Global Month of Volunteering effort delivers 90,000 hygiene kits to Puget Sound organizations that support disaster relief

Tens of thousands of Amazon employees from 51 countries around the globe participated in Amazon’s Global Month of Volunteering, an initiative dedicated to building stronger communities in the cities and towns where our employees live and work. Volunteers cleaned up parks, donated school supplies and clothing to students, built houses for families experiencing homelessness, assembled wish boxes for kids, and delivered meals to local food banks.

A photo of Adam Selipsky building a hygiene kit at Amazon’s Day 1 Playfield in Seattle.

In Seattle, employees gathered at Amazon’s Day 1 Playfield to volunteer with Clean the World to build and deliver more than 90,000 hygiene kits to Puget Sound organizations that support disaster relief efforts around the world. Clean the World provides recycled soap and hygiene supplies to people who have limited access to essential items that help prevent illnesses and diseases.

Learn more about how employees supported our Global Month of Volunteering around the globe.


Delivering the Future takes attendees behind the scenes on our latest innovations


Amazon is sizing up and investing in its Washington workforce for the holidays

In September, we shared that Amazon would be creating more than 250,000 full-time, part-time, and seasonal fulfillment center and transportation roles for the holiday season. In Washington state, that means 7,000 new opportunities for people looking for a new job, interested in making a career pivot, or just looking for a short-term way to earn extra money. And the roles we provide are for those at any career stage. In fact, 56% of associates hired by Amazon in the Seattle area were previously not working, and for 11% of those people, their role at Amazon was their first job.

“When I first started at Amazon, I was a seasonal employee, and then I really quickly became a blue badge, full-time employee,” said Laci Temple, a delivery station associate in Sumner, Washington. “You have a lot of opportunities here that you can take advantage of.”

What’s more, Amazon is also investing $1.3 billion this year toward pay increases for customer fulfillment and transportation employees, bringing the average pay for those roles to over $20.50 per hour. Some fulfillment centers are also providing bonuses, like $3,000 being offered at a fulfillment center in Arlington, Washington.

“I came to Amazon earlier this year because I was looking for an opportunity that would allow me to run my business and earn a paycheck after hours,” said local Amazon employee and farmer Grace Graver, an associate who works at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Kent, Washington. “You get medical and dental benefits from day one. Not only that, but the retirement benefits are great. It’s really easy to enroll in, and HR walks you through everything.”

We provide career advancement opportunities, anytime access to earned pay, health, vision, and dental insurance from the first day on the job; a 401(k) with company match; up to 20 weeks of paid pregnancy/parental leave for birth parents (six weeks for eligible supporting parents); and Amazon’s Resources for Living program, a free benefit offering mental health and financial services and support for employees, their families, and their households.

To learn more and apply, check out Amazon’s Jobs page.


Amazon partners with the Gary Sinise Foundation to support Seattle first responders on the front lines

A photo of a firefighter from the Seattle Fire Department petting a dog. There is a fire truck in the background.

Amazon is partnering with the Gary Sinise Foundation (GSF) to give $150,000 to the Seattle Fire Department to fund new safety equipment and firefighter mental health resources to support the needs of first responders in Seattle.

“Our firefighters bravely respond to unthinkable challenges, and this can take a toll on mental health,” said Guy Palumbo, director, Amazon Public Policy. “We must make sure that, as a community, we are investing in our first responders, so they’re able to continue their life-saving work. This grant is our way of saying ‘thank you’ for serving our city with dedication and courage."

The donation is part of a new three-year commitment from Amazon to GSF to honor military veterans and first responders, and will help fund first responder grants for state-of-the-art equipment. This includes resources like a revolutionary PeerConnect app, which provides peer support, wellness tools, self-assessment, mental health programming, and resources to Seattle Fire team members. The Department will also be equipped with 900 pairs of cutting-edge extrication gloves, ensuring hand protection in various rescue scenarios.

“We are grateful to have been selected for this grant from GSF and Amazon,” said Seattle Fire Chief Harold D. Scoggins. “With nearly every dollar of our department budget allocated, finding the money for new equipment and training can be challenging. Through this generous grant, we’re able to provide each firefighter with the tools they need, while continuing to build programs that help firefighters deal with the traumatic and stressful situations they encounter daily. Neither would have been possible without GSF and Amazon’s support.”

GSF has a long-standing mission of honoring defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need through various programs, initiatives, and contributions like this one.

“Our first responders are on the front lines of our communities, running into danger and risking their lives every day to keep their cities safe,” said Donna Palmer, executive director, GSF. “On behalf of our founder, Gary Sinise, and our incredible partner, Amazon, we are honored to provide this essential equipment to the Seattle Fire Department to show our deep gratitude for these heroes and their service to their community.”

A day of appreciation

A photo of a firefighters from the Seattle Fire Department serving food on their plates from a buffet.

Earlier in October, to mark National First Responders Day, volunteers from Amazon and GSF team members gathered at Seattle Fire Station 2 in Belltown to extend their appreciation. Seven members of the Amazon First Responders affinity group, a group of former first responders, volunteered to serve meals to the firefighters in attendance. In addition, two therapy dogs joined to help lend a “paw” to support firefighters during the event.


How Amazon and Food Lifeline are partnering to help end hunger in Puget Sound

An infographic that states, "Together to End Hunger". The graphic features a variety of illustrations of produce and grocery items.

Since 2008, Amazon has supported the critical work of Food Lifeline and its mission to end hunger in Western Washington. Food Lifeline sources millions of pounds of healthy, surplus food from partners across the region. From June 2022 through July 2023, 1.5 million people in Western Washington visited area food banks, which was a 50% increase over the previous year. Through its work, Food Lifeline delivers food to more than 400 distribution sites across Puget Sound to feed our neighbors every single day.

“Our weekly deliveries of food from Amazon and its partners are a key component in the work we do in Western Washington,” says Ryan Scott, chief development officer of Food Lifeline. “The yellow crates they deliver are everywhere in our warehouse and are a testament to Amazon’s commitment and hard work in helping end hunger.”

This November, we’re excited to expand our partnership in support of Food Lifeline’s “Together to End Hunger” holiday initiative. Beginning November 6, a food donation bin designed by local Seattle artist, Stevie Shao, will be set up at Kraken Community Iceplex to collect food items for donation to Food Lifeline.

On November 22, fans and neighbors can join us before the Seattle Kraken game on the southwest plaza outside Climate Pledge Arena from 3-7 p.m. PST for the “Together to End Hunger” Food Drive presented by Amazon to benefit Food Lifeline. Bring canned goods to donate, see Stevie Shao create a “Together to End Hunger” mural live, and pick up your own “Together to End Hunger” advocacy patch featuring Shao’s design. All food collected by Amazon will be delivered to Food Lifeline, then transported to food distribution sites across Puget Sound.

Amazon and Food Lifeline collaborated with local artist, Stevie Shao, "Together to End Hunger"

“We’re building a movement to end hunger,” said Scott. “And the key to building a movement is raising awareness. The more people understand the problems, the more action they will take. With our “Together to End Hunger” holiday initiative, Amazon is helping bring more people into the conversation, and more voices mean more action.”

Food Lifeline is one of several organizations that Amazon supports financially and logistically to help people facing food insecurity across Puget Sound. Learn how Amazon partners with additional food assistance organizations across the U.S. and other ways Amazon invests in the Puget Sound community.


Community Impact Report: Puget Sound

A photo of an employee holding two Amazon Prime delivery boxes. They are standing inside an Amazon fulfillment center.

As Amazon continues to grow, we know that our customers, employees, and the communities where we operate have high expectations of us. They look to us to have a positive impact beyond our investment and the jobs we create, and they want to see us apply our innovative spirit and resources to help address the many challenges their communities face. We want to do that, too.

Discover how we partner with local nonprofits and devote our resources, infrastructure, and people to help build a stronger community by reading our Community Impact Report: Puget Sound.

Learn about how Amazon is helping to address U.S. communities’ biggest challenges right now.


Gage Academy to open non-profit art school in Amazon’s re:Invent building

In 2024, Gage Academy of Art will move from its current location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood into Amazon’s re:Invent building located in South Lake Union.

An illustration of the exterior of the new Gage Academy of Art, which will be located in South Lake Union, Seattle, Washington.

“Creating space for the arts is vital for fostering a thriving downtown that brings together diverse retail, dining, entertainment, and culture options, and we’re thrilled that our Puget Sound headquarters will host Gage Academy of Art as part of this effort,” said John Schoettler, vice president of Global Real Estate and Facilities at Amazon. “Gage Academy is an essential part of the Seattle arts scene and we look forward to experiencing firsthand the positive impact it will have on the surrounding community.”

Gage Academy of Art is a fixture of the Seattle arts community. The school is committed to excellence in the fields of painting, drawing, and sculpting, and has invited art makers of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to become a part of its vibrant learning community. More than 3,000 adults and young people enroll each year in Gage Academy’s ateliers, classes, workshops, and youth programming. Gage also hosts another 8,000 community members across its campus, partner locations, and online for free lectures, community art programs, and family-friendly events when it moves to its new space in South Lake Union, the school can serve a larger, more diverse student body in a central location and close to more public transportation options.

“We want to thank Amazon for supporting Gage Academy and our longstanding mission to make the arts accessible to Puget Sound community members of all ages,” said Kathleen Allen, executive director, Gage Academy of Art. “This partnership with Amazon and relocation downtown will allow us to develop a state-of-the-art facility that aligns with our commitment to excellence in arts education.”

An illustration of the interior of the new Gage Academy of Art, which will be located in South Lake Union, Seattle, Washington.

The new 14,000-square-foot space is designed by architecture firm NBBJ and will include innovative and flexible classrooms, art studios, and communal student spaces that promote collaboration. The design will embody openness through its multi-level spaces and accessibility through its central downtown location and proximity to multiple public transportation options.

Learn more about Gage Academy of Art and its mission to make arts accessible.


Amazon celebrates its apprenticeship programs that offer employees paid opportunities to learn new skills and get on-the-job training

An image of employees holding certificates from an Amazon apprenticeship program.

Timed to National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), Amazon celebrated our various apprenticeship programs with organized local events in Seattle and Washington, D.C., and virtual viewing parties around the world. We also announced our 1,000th conversion from apprentice to full-time Amazon employee. The events offered an opportunity to recognize the achievements of current apprentices and recent apprentice graduates in cloud, mechatronics, and robotics roles, and hear from program leadership and our local partners. In Seattle, Amazon cohosted the events with Apprenti, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that administers the Amazon programs and coordinates with training providers.

Meet an Amazon MRA program participant | Amazon News

Clint Daguplo started as a seasonal associate in July 2020, but he always had a passion for robotics. He decided to participate in the MRA program. “The apprenticeship program was great because I was able to earn the certifications needed for a job in robotics, while being paid during the learning and on-the-job training. Throughout the program, I was able to learn about the different opportunities Amazon offers to grow your career and to grow as a person.” After completing the MRA program, Clint landed a role as a Control Systems Technician on the Reliability and Maintenance Engineering team at an Amazon robotics site in Seattle.

NAW is a nationwide celebration that highlights the value of Registered Apprenticeships in advancing our economy, promoting equity, and supporting underserved communities. Amazon offers numerous paid apprenticeship programs that provide employees opportunities classroom learning and on-the-job training to earn the certifications and training hours needed to land technical and nontechnical roles. Read more about the benefits of on-the-job training programs like our apprenticeships from Nick Curry, Senior Manager of Emerging Talent Pipelines at Amazon.


How you can help end hunger in the Puget Sound region this holiday season with Amazon and Food Lifeline

A band playing outside of the Climate Pledge Arena in front of Together to End Hunger food drive signage.
Kids donating canned goods outside of the Together to End Hunger food drive at Climate Pledge Arena.
Someone donating canned goods outside of the Climate Pledge Arena in support of the 'Together to End Hunger' food drive
A closeup of a gloved hand holding the Together to End Hunger badge, designed by artist Stevie Shao.
Seattle Kraken mascot, Buoy, takes a turn painting on artist Stevie Shao's mural outside of the Climate Pledge Arena, as Stevie watches from behind.
Two people donating to the Together to End Hunger food drive.
Artist Stevie Shao and Seattle Kraken mascot, Buoy, pose and smile in front of the mural Stevie painted live during the Together to End Hunger food drive.

On November 22, fans and community members descended upon the Climate Pledge Arena before the Seattle Kraken game with canned goods in tow to support the “Together to End Hunger” food drive, say hello to Buoy, and catch artist, Stevie Shao, creating a mural in real time that was donated to Food Lifeline. The event was a collaboration between Amazon, Food Lifeline, and Shao to raise awareness about food insecurity in Puget Sound while also collecting food to support the community. Amazon delivered 1800 pounds of food, which equates to roughly 1500 meals, from this initiative to Food Lifeline who will distribute it across nearly 400 food distribution sites in the region.

Amazon’s partnership with Food Lifeline is an important one that dates back to 2008. Today, this partnership is more important than ever since over 1.5 million people in western Washington will visit food banks this year, which is a 50% increase from last year.

“With Amazon’s support through the donation of millions of pounds of food, logistical support, and financial contributions, Food Lifeline is able to better serve and deliver for Puget Sound residents facing food insecurity every day. We’d like to thank Amazon for their ongoing commitment to helping end hunger in their hometown community, everyone who has supported the 'Together to End Hunger' initiative, as well as those who support individually by donating their own time, money, and voice to support this cause,” says Ryan Scott, chief development officer of Food Lifeline.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, it’s not too late to support the work of Food Lifeline and make an impact on Puget Sound families this holiday season. Visit their website to donate or volunteer and check out scenes from the “Together to End Hunger” food drive above.

Back to Amazon