PRINEVILLE, OR -- RTI International, an independent non-profit that provides data and partnerships to businesses, released a study saying Facebook's four domestic data centers, like the one in Prineville, have contributed nearly $6 billion to the nation's GDP since 2010.
Lee Weinstein of Facebook Prineville, says Facebook and Prineville are an excellent combination, and the social media company is working to invest in the community. "Facebook, as part of its commitment to Crook County and the community there, started a local Community Action Grants Program, and to-date, Facebook has given back about $1.47 million to qualified non-profits and schools in Crook County."
Weinstein says the program has been in place since 2011 and has also helped in the upgrading of the lower 66 Trail System and donated to the Humane Society of the Ochocos to help fund design plans for an updated facility. Facebook Prineville employs over two hundred people at the data center in a variety of positions, and the RTI study also found that for every data center job, five jobs are supported elsewhere in the economy, and shows the data center in Crook County has been responsible for lowering the unemployment rate from 17%.
According to Weinstein, Facebook's involvement in the local economy has been instrumental in bringing in other businesses. "When Facebook was scouting around for places to build, Crook County and the City of Prineville came together to work quite closely with Facebook to help them develop the site on the bluff over Prineville. As a result of that, there's a lot of new infrastructure in Prineville including power and fiber, that should help other businesses expand, develop, or start up in Crook County."
Facebook Prineville just announced they intend to distribute more than $200,000 through their Local Community Action Grant program to support critical community needs in schools and charities.