On a warm, windy June day in Midlothian, Texas — just 26 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth — Alphabet Inc.’s Google made headlines when it officially unveiled progress on its first data center to be built in the Lone Star State.
Against a backdrop of four skyscraping cranes, the evolving data center building, and a white tent shading an eager audience of state and local officials, business and educational leaders, and “Googlers” (as they are commonly referred to) the iconic tech giant shared details about its new facility.
The $600 million project taking shape on 375 acres in Midlothian’s RailPort Business Park along U.S. Highway 67 will eventually result in 40 full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs.
Joined by U.S. Congressman Ron Wright, U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Midlothian Mayor Richard Reno, and other Midlothian civic leaders, Google’s Head of Public Policy and Community Development, Americas, Andrew Silvestri, expressed tremendous enthusiasm for the new Midlothian data center.
A Stand-Out Site Solution
“Google has been proud to call Texas home for the past 12 years, when we first opened our office in Austin in 2007,” said Silvestri. “We’ve been growing ever since, and we are growing to this day. We have over 1,100 employees working on major projects and products across Android, Google Play, Cloud and so many more.”
He noted that data centers are the infrastructure and the backbone of the internet; critical to delivering tools and resources, including search results, YouTube videos, Gmail, and other apps, to billions of internet users around the globe.
“We have deep roots in Texas, and they’re about to get deeper as we launch our first-ever data center in Texas right here in Midlothian,” said Silvestri. “Texas is a huge part of Google’s story and we are so excited for Midlothian to be the next chapter in that story.”
According to Silvestri, a variety of factors led Google to select the rapidly growing community of Midlothian for its newest data center.
“Our team scoured the globe trying to find sites for these facilities, and Midlothian stood out among all of them across the world because of your abundance of natural resources, but more importantly, because of the talent, the people, and the spirit of community and partnership that you all bring together,” said Silvestri.
The Google data center project was lauded by U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, who is a long-time STEM supporter and advocate and is currently Chairwoman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
“My story, for over 25 years, has been STEM education, and that’s how Google and I came together over 25 years ago,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “STEM fields can be high school or Ph.D.’s, but as we look forward, we know that that is going to be the predominant area of expertise for the job market and for all the skills that we need.”
Texas' Digital Future
She went on to say that when Google comes, others follow.
“We’re into the 21st century with this project,” she said. “You will see a real change in Midlothian with the involvement of the high-tech data center. This is our future. Texas is the place because we have the space and we’re a trade state, and that’s why these businesses are choosing our area. We are the future.”
Congressman Ron Wright echoed her sentiments when he spoke to the audience.
“You found the right destination because you’re in the most business-friendly state in the country, and probably the most business-friendly region of that state, and one of the most business-friendly cities,” Congressman Wright said. “They also have a great school district and are close to institutions of higher learning. You picked the right place to be. Let’s get on with the Google-ing.”
In a statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the Lone Star State continues its emergence as a global technology hub thanks to an economic environment that encourages innovation and allows the free market to flourish.
“Time and again, companies like Google choose to invest in Texas because of our business-friendly practices and our talented workforce,” said Governor Abbott. “Google’s expansion in the city of Midlothian will create hundreds of jobs for Texans and contribute immensely to the brand of economic prosperity only found in Texas.”
Powerful Partner in Education
During the ceremony, Google furthered its commitment to the community with a $100,000 grant to the Midlothian Independent School District for the development of STEM programs in MISD schools.
Silvestri prefaced the announcement by introducing Allie Hopkins, hardware operations manager at Google, who has overseen the company’s data centers across the world for the past five years and is the hardware operations site manager for Google’s Midlothian data center.
“Allie is such a strong community partner,” said Silvestri. “Our employees live and work in the communities, their kids go to school with your children, they will be mentors in your classrooms, and Allie will be the spearhead of that.”
Hopkins welcomed Midlothian ISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter who thanked Google for its $100,000 grant, saying the grant would help the district continue to prepare its students for the future.
“We’re living in an increasingly digital economy, and this grant will expand resources to our students as we prepare them for the future,” said Ledbetter.
Google has an impressive track record of making significant investments in schools in the communities in which it operates.
In the past, the company has expressed that it is most proud of its investments in its local communities through workforce development and education, as well as its community grants that support local initiatives such as installing Wi-Fi on school buses for kids with long commutes and partnering with school districts to develop STEM programs.
"There will be long-lasting benefits with Google locating its data center in Midlothian,” said Larry Barnett, president and CEO of Midlothian Economic Development. “I'm most happy that students will benefit more than anyone, and for years to come. We are only at the very beginning of the exciting progress that is yet to come."