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Apple Chooses Site for $1 Billion North Carolina Data Center

Information technology giant Apple Inc. will build its new $1 billion data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The Hickory Daily Record reports that the company will build a 500,000-square-foot facility in the WestStar Mission Critical Business Park. The company announced last month that it would build the center, its first on the East Coast, somewhere in North Carolina. At that time, the state approved tax breaks of up to $46 million over the next 10 years; the Record reports that local governments have approved tax breaks worth an additional $20.7 million. The site was chosen in part because it offers access to large amounts of electric power and water, both necessary to a data center's operations. The state incentives also require that the center be built in one of the state's most economically distressed counties; Catawba County's unemployment rate in May was 15.5 percent. Apple plans to employ at least 50 people at the center in full-time information technology positions, and company officials have promised to hire local workers for those positions if possible; the North Carolina governor's office estimates that an additional 250 jobs will be created for people providing services to the plant and more than 3,000 indirect jobs are possible in the region surrounding the site. Construction is expected to begin next month, with plans to begin hiring late next year.

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