Amazon

Miracle Stewart, right, an employee of Amazon PrimeNow, prepares bags to fill with orders from customers making purchases, at a distribution hub in New York, in December.

The Associated Press

Hammond and Gary mayors deserve a tip of the hat for leading the effort to draw up bids for the nationwide search for Amazon’s second headquarters. A mayor’s first priority should always be growing their city’s economy.

More jobs and higher wages are the sign of a healthy thriving community.

With more than 100 cities in the hunt, our Region's chance of landing HQ2 is admittedly slim.

However, the exercise could prove fruitful. These proposals should be used as a foundation for attracting other possible businesses.

Three Northwest Indiana entities — Hammond, Gary and a more general Region-wide bid by the Forum — were created in just a few weeks, each focusing on advantages while referencing the benefits of the broader Region.

We were most impressed by Hammond's bid: The city is pitching the old State Line Generating Plant property on the Lake Michigan shoreline. The 77-acre property borders Chicago and all its amenities.

Hammond officials hope to pique Amazon's interest with a proposed water taxi running between the prospective site and downtown Chicago.

The concept has a quality of life "wow factor" in which the city maximizes two of the Region's greatest selling points — Lake Michigan and proximity to a world-class city.

Couple Hammond's offerings with the existing — and planned expansion of — South Shore Line commuter rail, and the offer is enticing.

If the long shot does not pay off, we encourage Hammond to use its packaged proposal to Amazon as a template to find another high-value employer for this location.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.