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Google is growing in North Texas with new data center

Four men stand looking at a map depicting a new Google data center
Bill Zeeble
Google unveils plans for a second data center in Ellis County. Google employees, including VP Cris Turner, left, show plans to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, second from right, and Texas Congressman Jake Ellzey, far right.

Google announced Thursday it’ll invest more than $600 million in Texas over the next several years as it builds a new data center in Ellis County’s Red Oak.

The announcement was made at Dallas College’s Workforce Development Training Center, located in the old Red Bird Mall in southern Dallas.

Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn said he welcomed Google’s investment.

“We’ve got about 30 million people in Texas now, and a lot of them are moving into this area.,” Cornyn told a group of reporters and business leaders. “They'll have access not only to the workforce training, but also to the jobs that are going to help them provide for their family.

“This is going to be part of the rejuvenation of this part of north Texas. And I think this will be one of the hubs right here, as a result of this investment by Google.”

That’s not the only investment the company’s making, said Cris Turner, Google’s vice president of Government Affairs & Public Policy. His company will also give the Red Oak Independent School District a $150,000 grant for its STEM program.

“That is designed,” said Turner, “to help make sure that the workforce, both for our needs and for those workers and those industries that develop around our location here, have the workforce and skills that they need.”

Turner didn’t say how long it would take to build the Red Oak data center or when it would be ready for workers. Google already operates another data center in nearby Midlothian, also in Ellis County, just south of Dallas.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.