Facebook is claiming that its Prineville, Ore., data center, opened in April 2010, is boosting the local economy in that region of central Oregon, which includes Crook County.
Based on a Facebook-commissioned study by the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest, which focusses on the Pacific Northwest area, Facebook said in a blog post that the data center’s construction activities over the past five years have led to 651 jobs in Central Oregon and $573 million in statewide capital spending.
As far as non-construction activities are concerned, the facility contributed to 207 jobs in Central Oregon in 2013 alone.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, of the 100 people currently employed full-time at the facility, approximately 85 percent are based in Prineville and Crook County.
Back in 2012, Gigaom’s Katie Fehrenbacher got a chance to visit the Oregon facility, which is one of the most energy efficient in the world.
While it is nice to see that the data center is creating a bump in the local economy, it should be noted that these sorts of facilities don’t necessarily create the thousands of jobs one would see at an auto-manufacturing plant. After the construction phase of a plant is over, it’s typical that there are only a few dozen full-time jobs available that are tailored for skilled engineers rather than local residents without backgrounds in technology.