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Google Holds Grand Opening for CB Data Center

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Meghan Youker

COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM) -- They organize the world's information and then make it easily accessible in less than a second.  Now Google is doing some of that work right here in metro.

It wasn't your typical ribbon cutting.  "It really puts our state not only on the national map, but on the international map when it comes to information technology," said Iowa Governor Chet Culver.

Tuesday night state and local leaders connected fiber optic cables, officially welcoming Google to Council Bluffs.  "This represents about a 600 million dollar investment and we're really happy to be here.  It's been two years in the making and now we're online so it's great," said data center manager Chris Russell.

The data center contains hundreds of sophisticated computers and servers, helping Google power it's Internet search engine and other services, which literally handle hundreds of thousands of queries every day.  "I think everybody understands the impact of the Internet and information and what Google does is provide the world with information.  The fact that they're here, the fact that they're utilizing people from this area is tremendous," said Bob Mundt of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce.

Eventually the data center will employ about 200 people, each making at least $50,000 a year.  "It really sends a strong message that Iowa is extremely competitive and we're ready to do business and excited about being on the cutting edge," Culver said.

Google could have gone anywhere.  Leaders say they choose Council Bluffs because of its energy infrastructure, land and available workforce.  "We think that we have a lot of potential here.  We have a lot of the assets that they need to survive and prosper and we're just very excited about what this holds for the future," Mundt said.

The Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce believes Google's investment in the community will only continue to grow.  They're also hopeful Google coming to Council Bluffs will help them sell the city to other big name companies.

Google does have a few jobs currently available at the center.  Leaders say they'll continue to hire over the next year.  For more information, visit http://www.google.com/councilbluffs

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