Tech giant to expand datacenter footprint in Central Ohio
On June 26 Amazon announced plans to invest nearly $8 billion to expand its datacenter presence in Central Ohio.
The expansion will be the second-largest private-sector construction project in the history of Ohio, coming in second to Intel’s $100 billion project. The Amazon megaproject will create thousands of jobs in the union construction industry.
“Today, we are proud to reinforce our long-term commitment to the State of Ohio with plans to expand and invest an estimated $7.8 billion by 2030,” said Roger Wehner, Amazon Web Services Director of Economic Development. “Since 2015, Amazon Web Services has invested more than $6 billion in Ohio while supporting thousands of local jobs.”
The proposed project will make the Buckeye State a nationwide leader in technology and innovation.
“Amazon is already one of the largest private-sector employers in Ohio, and the company’s continued growth here further cements Ohio as the heart of our nation’s technology and innovation,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
The investment will build on Amazon’s current infrastructure in Ohio to help businesses grow, allow residents to connect with family and friends and provide access to online educational resources and entertainment, he added.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted believes the investment will make Ohio a major player in artificial intelligence (AI).
“This enormous capital investment further solidifies Ohio as the tech center of the Midwest and positions us for a bright future as cloud computing and artificial intelligence are more integrated into the economy and our everyday lives,” he said.
For Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, the announcement means the Central Ohio area will be home to four megaprojects – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center tower, Intel, Honda/LG Battery Plant and now Amazon.
It is a situation that four years ago, Hager could not have fathomed.
“It’s hard to imagine,” he said. “But, it proves that Columbus and Central Ohio is becoming the tech center of the world.”
Amazon’s news follows Google’s announcement it would build two datacenter campuses – one on the south side of Columbus and the other in Lancaster. Additionally, Microsoft recently purchased 184 acres located at 3287 Beech Road, according to multiple media sources.
JP Nauseef, President and CEO of JobsOhio, credits AWS as the first major technology company in Ohio and says their success has helped paved the way for the growth Ohio is seeing now.
“Their newest investment creates 230 direct new jobs and an estimated 1,000 support jobs and we look forward to building our partnership with AWS as Ohio continues to make its mark in this important sector,” he added.
Currently, Amazon operates seven datacenters in central Ohio – three each in New Albany and Hilliard and one in Dublin.
Numerous areas in Central Ohio are under consideration for the new datacenter campus(es), and final site selection will be decided at a later date.
Hager said it is too early to determine how many highly skilled and highly trained building trades members will be needed to work on this project. He also noted that it is too early to know if the work will be performed under some type of Project Labor Agreement.
Past Amazon datacenter construction projects were not performed under a PLA, but were awarded to union signatory contractors.