LANSING — State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) applauded the passage of legislation he worked on that will help data centers in Michigan. The legislation was introduced to help bring Nevada-based Switch to the state, where it plans to invest $5 billion into the former Steelcase pyramid near Grand Rapids to create the largest data center in the eastern United States. The company plans to hire 1,000 employees over the next 10 years. The legislation also helps existing data centers in Michigan to grow this important industry of the future.

“This important legislation will create good-paying technology jobs in Michigan and help stem the brain drain by ensuring that our talented workers can stay here in Michigan. It also provides excellent opportunities for our high-technology electrical workers, operating engineers, and other skilled trades,” Rep. Schor said. “Creating a data center will not only bring talent to Michigan, but will motivate our next generation of thinkers to follow their career path right here at home.”

Rep. Schor sponsored one of the bills in the package considered by the House, and was an important voice in the final negotiations on the legislation. Democrats in the House provided necessary support for this legislation to pass. Their amendments ensured that this industry received the assistance it needed to produce jobs and economic activity, yet also authored language ensuring that the promised jobs actually materialize. Democrats also made it possible for Switch to renovate the Pyramid building into a 2 million-square-foot data center, while ensuring that Michigan stays competitive with neighboring states to finalize the move.

Rep. Schor said, “Passage of this legislation is a win for Michigan. It will not only provide jobs in West Michigan but will have impact throughout the state. Yes, we have heard that before — but in this case there is precedent in Nevada. We will replicate their tremendous job growth, economic activity, educational assistance, and retention of talent here in Michigan, and I am proud to be a part of that. This is one of the things I expect to look back on years from now and be proud that I helped to make happen.”