NEW ALBANY, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's first Facebook data center is now up and running, with more investment in the facility on the way.
The center in New Albany in suburban Columbus will eventually employ more than 150 people, up from 50 now, according to the social media giant. The center went online Thursday at a 340-acre campus, with plans announced to add two more buildings with an eventual investment of $1 billion.
“We look forward to continuing this strong partnership for many years to come,” said Bobby Hollis, director of global energy, environment and site selection for Facebook.
The facility is one of 15 Facebook data centers used to power the company's website and related services.
Former Gov. John Kasich and the state's JobsOhio economic development wing announced the center in 2017 in hopes of persuading other tech companies to invest in Ohio.
Bringing such global companies to Ohio is important as a way of attracting others, said J.P. Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio, a private economic development corporation.
“As we all know, everyone wants to be in Ohio," Nauseef said. "They just don't know it yet.”
Gov. Mike DeWine was among those thanking Facebook for its investment in the area, including a newly announced $190,000 grant to support science, math and technology programs in Licking County schools.