Google selects Central Ohio for datacenter campus

Local 50 Members will play key role in datacenter construction 

Google is coming to central Ohio and the project is expected to create good-paying jobs for members of the Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50.

Overall, the project should create more than 1,100 union construction jobs.

The decision by Google to build a datacenter in New Albany means three digital giants will have datacenters in central Ohio. Facebook is currently building a $750 million datacenter in New Albany and Amazon has datacenters in Dublin, Hilliard and New Albany.

While Google did not release specifics about the project, area building trades leaders believe the building will be smaller and take less time to complete than the Facebook project. 

Five years after the internet search engine giant spurned a site in New Albany for a location in San Antonio, Google finally committed to building in central Ohio.

In a Feb. 13 blog, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the company’s expansion into 14 states across the U.S., including Ohio.

“Today we’re announcing over $13 billion in investments throughout 2019 in data centers and offices across the U.S., with major expansions in 14 states,” Pichai wrote. “These new investments will give us the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees, and enable the creation of more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia.”

The $600 million project is in its early design stage, and initial estimates indicate the project will create more than 1,100 construction jobs, including 400 electrical workers, 200 pipefitters, 100 sheet metal workers, 60 insulators and other trades.

Similar to other datacenters, the work will be heavy on the mechanical side. 

While no Project Labor Agreement has been signed, union contractors will likely be the winning bidders as Google, similar to Facebook and Amazon, require specific training that most non-union construction workers do not have.

Thanks to registered apprenticeship programs and the investment by Local Building Trades Unions, including Local 50, union tradesmen and tradeswomen receive the training needed to work on projects such as Google.

This training will allow Local 50 members to expertly apply mechanical insulation to all the mechanical systems in the datacenter. By jacketing the pipes and the system, the systems will run more efficiently, which saves money. It also helps control the workers temperature and reduces stress on the systems.

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