A news report from Tuesday says Apple plans to hire up to 500 extra workers to complete and maintain its “global command center” in Mesa, AZ. The planned center will be on the site of a failed sapphire glass production facility.
According to The Phoenix Business News, Apple will to take on between 300 and 500 more employees than planned to staff its upcoming data center in the East Valley area of Arizona. Original plans called for 150 executive-level positions.
Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Mesa, Arizona Mayor John Giles during a meeting in Cupertino, Calif. last week, that a small group of executives would move out to Arizona, while other leadership roles would be filled by local hires. The area lost 700 jobs from the closing of the sapphire glass production plant.
“There could be more hires,” Giles said. “They told me that Apple has a history of expanding where it has a major footprint and Austin now has more than 6,000 workers,”
Apple announced a $2 billion, ten-year plan back in February, that would see the Mesa facility converted into a green data center. Giles said that initial commitment has been increased substantially.
“They plan more than $2 billion in capital investment over five years,” he said. “Apple said they are making a 30-year commitment to Mesa.”
The Mesa facility was initially built to manufacture sapphire glass for use by Apple. The facility was leased to GT Advanced Technologies as part of a $578 million sapphire supply contract. Last year it was announced that GT would be unable to meet Apple’s expectations for the sapphire glass, and GT filed for bankruptcy in October.
Construction on Apple’s “global command center” is slated to begin in 2016. Tuesday’s report notes that the new facility will take up only around half of the 1.3 million-square-foot property, leaving a substantial amount of space available for future projects.