When Airbnb began evaluating locations to establish a technology hub on the East Coast, we looked for five key factors:
- A city with leaders committed to expanding economic empowerment opportunities in a state also seeking to promote economic empowerment for its citizens
- A city that is open and friendly, sharing our commitment to diversity and inclusion
- A city in a state with a robust and diverse technical talent pool
- A city that has a robust creative and curious culture that attracts a community of creators
- A city that people want to call their long-term home in state offering all kinds of natural amenities
While many cities fit this description, Atlanta emerged as the city that aligned with what we are looking for in a technical hub. In particular, one of the things that stood out about Atlanta was its strong educational infrastructure when it comes to teaching the next generation of engineers, including educational institutions committed to specifically supporting communities of color. And at the end of 2019 we made a decision to move forward with establishing a technical hub in Atlanta.
However, as the pandemic set in, we paused this plan. Then in May 2020, we made the very difficult decision to let 25 percent of our team go.
As travel has rebounded, we realized that we have an opportunity to establish this technical hub more quickly than we anticipated, and restarted conversations in Atlanta.
Today, we are excited to share that we are opening a technical hub in the City of Atlanta, the first step in a broader commitment to a long-term presence in the area. This hub will be home to one of our product development teams, as well as a variety of others. We anticipate our Atlanta office will become the regional base for hundreds of technical and non-technical roles over time.
We intend to establish a physical space in Atlanta later this year. If any economic incentives or credits are associated with the location, Airbnb will donate them back to the City of Atlanta for community impact initiatives.
We are thankful for the partnership of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and will work with the Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to bolster youth engagement strategies designed to promote equitable access to education, development, and training opportunities for Atlanta youth. The Mayor and the team in city government reflected the spirit of Atlanta as a dynamic city on the move.
“Atlanta is the South’s shining star and our prosperity depends on cultivating a diverse company base that brings jobs and creates opportunities for our residents. We welcome Airbnb to Atlanta and look forward to working with them to build a pipeline of good quality jobs for our local workforce.” – Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor of Atlanta.
We are also thankful to Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Economic Development for their support. The Governor is an advocate for jobs and economic development in the State of Georgia, including working to bring new jobs into Georgia.
“Georgia has remained on the cutting edge of training and educating our workforce, which continues to attract first-class companies like Airbnb to invest here,” said Governor Kemp. “I’m confident this is just the beginning of Airbnb’s presence in our state, and I look forward to seeing the long-term opportunities they create for hardworking Georgians in the Peach State for years to come.”
As part of opening our Atlanta Technical Hub, Airbnb will also continue developing community partnerships in the city aimed at expanding entrepreneurship opportunities and creating pathways for Georgia residents to pursue careers in technology. This work builds on Airbnb’s existing partnerships with the NAACP, the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RCIE), Tech Bridge, and others in the Atlanta community. Some of the initiatives Airbnb intends to develop include:
- Supporting Mayor Bottom’s vision of creating One Atlanta by committing to thinking and acting together to improve career development opportunities for residents living in communities that have historically lacked strategic investments
- Developing partnerships with HBCUs and other universities in the Atlanta area to strengthen opportunity pipelines
- Support community organizations like BestFit and Tech Bridge with hardware for students in need
- In addition, Airbnb will support regular programming for Atlanta entrepreneurs interested in home sharing, provide regular mentoring hours with Airbnb Ambassadors to pair locals with existing platform hosts, and host technology and leadership development forums.
“Airbnb is a dynamic company dedicated to creating economic opportunities through hosting its platform. We have been proud to partner with Airbnb to help members of the Black community leverage the platform and become microentrepreneurs, and now we are excited to welcome Airbnb as an employer bringing more jobs in Atlanta,” said Jay Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of the Russell Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
We look forward to opening our engineering hub in Atlanta and sharing more news as we open a physical office space.
Founded in 2008, Airbnb exists to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. Airbnb uniquely leverages technology to economically empower millions of people around the world to unlock and monetize their spaces, passions and talents to become hospitality entrepreneurs. Airbnb’s accommodation marketplace provides access to 6+ million unique places to stay in more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests through 25,000+ unique, handcrafted activities run by hosts across 1,000+ markets around the world. Airbnb’s people-to-people platform benefits all its stakeholders, including hosts, guests, employees and the communities in which it operates.