In the past week or so Facebook Announced they will be locating a brand new data center in Papillion, Nebraska. Facebook announced during one of their press conferences that they are going to be building the new data center along Highway 50. ” Facebook is joining Nebraska to help grow its community,” Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said. “We expect this facility to create hundreds of jobs while it is being built and scores of jobs afterward.”
Companies like Facebook and Google and Amazon need a huge amount of processing power to keep their sites running. Communities like Papillion have probably offered some financial incentives to Facebook, but Financial incentives alone are not enough. If the local area does not have enough educated and interested people to staff a big data center, then the plan will not work.
To become a Tech Hub, a city needs four things:
- Support of the City or Town– Often in the form of tax breaks or other financial incentives
- Local pool of qualified workers– Tech need people who have an aptitude for working in technical environments. The prospective labor force is something a new facility must be able to draw from in order to keep it fully staffed and running smoothly. So, proximity to local colleges and Universities, state-sponsored training programs, and high schools that train their students in programming, repair, and all things tech are a big drawing card for tech companies.
- Giving Back – Firms who are very conscious of giving back to the community they establish their offices in are more likely to want to join a city where giving back to the community is a big part of their overall plan. If younger employees are asked why they have joined the company they are now employed by, many of them site the Eco-Culture of said company, and the willingness of that company to put money and time back into the city and state where they are located.
- Affordable Housing – There is a growing disparity between income and housing expense here in the U.S. It is very important that wherever a business decides to build there be affordable housing for their employees. It’s also important there be a pool of homes which are going to be available. Otherwise, that law of supply and demand kicks in. What was once affordable becomes less so as competition increases and drives prices up.
Last but not least, quality of life overall. Is the crime rate low? Are there things to do? Access to cultural pursuits is also important. How are the local schools rated?
Does your city have what it takes to pull in a Tech Company?
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