Hager: Central Ohio could become the Silicon Valley of the Midwest

Hager: Central Ohio could become the Silicon Valley of the Midwest

Google is finally coming to central Ohio and the project is expected to create more than 1,100 jobs for affiliated members of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council.

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

Dorsey Hager

Dorsey Hager, C/COBCTC Executive Secretary-Treasurer

“I don’t think it will be quite as big or as long of a project as Facebook, but I think it will be quiet similar,” said Dorsey Hager, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council. “I think you’re seeing New Albany and that part of Columbus with a lot of datacenters and tech giants and I don’t want to jinx it, but it looks like we could be the next Silicon Valley or certainly the Silicon Valley of the Midwest.”

Five years after the internet search engine giant spurned a site in New Albany for a location in San Antonio, Google committed to building a datacenter 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 Hager estimates the project will create more than 1,100 jobs for his affiliated members, including 400 electrical workers, 200 pipefitters, 100 sheet metal workers, 60 insulators and other trades as well.

“The prints and plans that I’ve seen look like it’s going to be heavy mechanical, lots of electricians, lot of sheet metal workers, lot of plumbers and pipefitters and a lot of insulators,” said Hager. There will be concrete work, brickwork and carpentry work as well, but it’s going to be a heavy mechanical job.”

While no Project Labor Agreement has been signed, Hager expects union contractors will be the winning bidders.

“It seems like jobs of this size typically rely on union contractors and union construction because they know right now manpower and skilled manpower is at a premium,” he said. “We’re the only ones who could take care of the project for them.”

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