Facebook "friends" Oregon

Announcement brings hundreds of jobs to Prineville
By John Erickson
Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Crook County community of Prineville--currently plagued by a 17 per cent unemployment rate--is celebrating the news that social networking giant Facebook is building a data center there.

Some 200 construction jobs will be created by the project, which will employ 35 Facebook workers once it's on line. The center will store status updates, messages, photos, videos, and other features familar to Facebook's 350 million users around the world.

Why Prineville?

"Prineville, amazingly enough, has a fantastic climate," said Facebook's director of site operations, Tom Furlong.

"There's a great business climate. There's lots of available real estate. We have a great utility provider in Pacific Power."

Furlong also pointed to Oregon's reputation for green energy. "Oregon is certainly known for being a green state. It challenges us to do the same. It's good for our business, it's efficient, and I think we'll have one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the nation once it's done."

Locals had been aware that a data center was in the works, but the name of the company was a closely held secret until Thursday, when a real estate employee posted the news, ironically, on his Facebook page.