Tag Archives: Company announcements

Breaking ground in Nevada

I’m a fourth generation Nevadan on both sides of my family. Even though Google is headquartered in California, my work has brought me back to my home state of Nevada far more than I expected. And recently we’ve been getting to know Nevadans in all corners of the state. Last year, I had the chance to kick off Grow with Google in Reno where we held in-person digital skills trainings for hundreds of Nevadans. And last week, our team returned to host more workshops in East Las Vegas and Carson City. Today, I’m back home in Nevada once more to break ground on our newest data center and Google Cloud region. 

Google is growing at a faster rate outside of the Bay Area than in it—and earlier this year, our CEO Sundar Pichai announced that Google will invest $13 billion to expand data centers and offices across the United States. Recently, we released plans for expansions in two new offices in Michigan, our data centers in Oklahoma and Texas, and now one in Henderson, Nevada. The new data center facility is a $600 million dollar investment, and will create a number of new jobs in the state. Together with our new cloud region, we’re investing to better support our users and our Cloud customers in Nevada.

Data centers power your searches, store your photos, documents and emails, and help you find the fastest route to your destination. They play a vital role in our global operations—and the communities they’re a part of. And it’s our responsibility to be a helpful presence in those communities by creating opportunities for our neighbors to succeed. In addition to the data center groundbreaking, we’re kicking off a $1 million Google.org Impact Challenge in Nevada. Nonprofits from any part of Nevada can submit their biggest and boldest ideas to create economic opportunities for their communities. A panel of judges will select the top five submissions from local nonprofits, who will each be awarded $175,000 to make their idea a reality. From there, the public will vote to select one of the five to be the “People’s Choice” winner and receive an additional $125,000. 

Nevada holds a special place in my heart, and I’m proud to bring the Google.org Impact Challenge to my home state. As we break ground on our newest data center, we’re not only investing in a facility in Nevada, we are investing in Nevadans in all corners of the state. 

$1 billion for 20,000 Bay Area homes

As we work to build a more helpful Google, we know our responsibility to help starts at home. For us, that means being a good neighbor in the place where it all began over 20 years ago: the San Francisco Bay Area.

Today, Google is one of the Bay Area’s largest employers. Across the region, one issue stands out as particularly urgent and complex: housing. The lack of new supply, combined with the rising cost of living, has resulted in a severe shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents. As Google grows throughout the Bay Area—whether it’s in our home town of Mountain View, in San Francisco, or in our future developments in San Jose and Sunnyvale—we’ve invested in developing housing that meets the needs of these communities. But there’s more to do.

Today we’re announcing an additional $1 billion investment in housing across the Bay Area.

First, over the next 10 years, we’ll repurpose at least $750 million of Google’s land, most of which is currently zoned for office or commercial space, as residential housing. This will enable us to support the development of at least 15,000 new homes at all income levels in the Bay Area, including housing options for middle and low-income families. (By way of comparison, 3,000 total homes were built in the South Bay in 2018). We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents.

Second, we’ll establish a $250 million investment fund so that we can provide incentives to enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market.

In addition to the increased supply of affordable housing these investments will help create, we will give $50 million in grants through Google.org to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement. This builds on the $18 million in grants we’ve given to help address homelessness over the last five years, including $3 million we gave to the newly openedSF Navigation Center and $1.5 million toaffordable housing for low income veterans and households in Mountain View.

In the coming months, we’ll continue to work with local municipalities to support plans that allow residential developers to build quickly and economically. Our goal is to get housing construction started immediately, and for homes to be available in the next few years. In Mountain View, we’ve already worked with the city to change zoning in the North Bayshore area to free up land for housing, and we’re currently in productive conversations with Sunnyvale and San Jose.

Of course, affordable and quality housing is only one way we’re investing in Bay Area communities. We’re also fundingcommunity spaces that provide free access to co-working areas for nonprofits, improving transit options forthe community and our employees (taking 9,000 cars off the road per day), and supporting programs forcareer development,education andlocal businesses.

Across all of this, our goal is to help communities succeed over the long term, and make sure that everyone has access to opportunity, whether or not they work in tech. Solving a big issue like the housing shortage will take collaboration across business, government and community organizations, and we look forward to working alongside others to make the Bay Area a place where everyone who lives here can thrive.

Coming soon to the Lone Star State: more office space and a data center

We're expanding in Texas. Austin has been home to Google for over a decade and today, we’re extending our commitment to the state with a new data center in Midlothian, and the lease of two new buildings for our Austin workforce. These new commitments are part of our larger $13 billion investment in offices and data centers across the United States, which we announced earlier this year.

We’re investing $600 million to develop the Midlothian site, which will create a number of full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs to build the new data center. As part of this investment, we’re also making a $100,000 grant to the Midlothian Independent School District to support the continued growth and development of the region’s STEM programs in schools.


In Austin, we already have more than 1,100 employees working across Android, G Suite, Google Play, Cloud, staffing and recruiting, people operations, finance and marketing. As we continue to grow, we’ve leased additional office space at Block 185 and Saltillo—located in downtown Austin and east Austin, respectively—to accommodate our short and long-term growth.

Our current downtown Austin office on W 2nd Street

Our current downtown Austin office on W 2nd Street. We will maintain our presence there while expanding to new locations at Saltillo and Block 185.

The Lone Star state has become a hub for tech innovation and we’ve been fortunate to be a part of its growth from the very beginning. It’s the amazing talent and spirit of work and play that brought us to Texas 12 years ago and it’s what keeps us here today. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors in the Midlothian-Dallas Metro area and we’re excited to be a part of these communities for many years to come.

Investing in Oklahoma and across the U.S.

Editor’s Note: This week we’re making some big moves around the $13 billion U.S. investment we announced in February. On Monday, our CFO Ruth Porat was in Michigan to announce an additional investment in our offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit. And tomorrow, we’re breaking ground on a new data center in Midlothian, TX, and expanding our office in Austin.

Today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in Oklahoma to announce a $600 million investment to expand our data center in Mayes County, as well as our biggest computer science education grant in Google.org’s history. Read his edited remarks below.

I enjoy visiting the places our data centers call home. I especially love to see the local touches. In the case of Pryor, it’s the mechanical bull in the lobby, which I’m told is a lot of fun. It requires good positioning, strong balance, and sometimes digging in your heels. So, not much different from my day job.

But the real reason I look forward to these visits is the community. It’s a privilege to meet the people who are making Pryor a great place to live and work.

At Google, we are technology optimists. Not because we believe in technology, but because we believe in people. 

The people of Mayes County shared our sense of optimism from the very start. That optimism is why, when Google proposed building a data center here in 2007, you welcomed us with open arms. And that optimism is what’s made it possible for Google to continue our expansion in Pryor in the years since—not once, not twice...but three times. Today’s announcement will make it four.

Pryor is already home to one of Google’s largest data centers in the country. I am pleased to announce that we will be investing another $600 million to expand the data center here and create an additional 100 jobs for the Pryor community. This brings the total investment in Oklahoma to over $3 billion, and total jobs created to more than 500.

It’s part of our $13 billion investment in expanding our data centers across the U.S. This week we also announced new investments in Michigan, and we’re breaking ground on a new data center in Texas.

This national expansion comes at a significant moment for Google. For 21 years we’ve pursued a timeless mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. In that time, we’ve evolved from a company that helps people find answers to a company that helps people throughout their day.

Pryor is a part of our effort to build a more helpful Google for everyone. We’ve spent more than two decades scaling our technical infrastructure to match the growth of information. And we are continuously working to make it more efficient and more reliable.

This site is an important part of our global network of data centers. This network is what powers your searches, your email, all of the photos you store and treasure, and the maps that help you find the fastest way home. And that network includes 13 locations around the world, with new data centers underway in eight additional locations.

It's a privilege to serve billions of people every day. With that privilege comes a big responsibility to ensure that information truly serves everyone. Every day, millions of Americans go online to find answers, learn new skills, and grow their businesses. Two years ago, Google announced Grow with Google, a new effort to expand economic opportunity to all Americans. A big way we do this is through digital skills training. Our partnership with Goodwill is already helping thousands of Oklahomans learn new skills and find jobs.

We’re also excited to help young people learn computer science to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. Since 2017, we’ve been working with the National 4-H Council to create a computer science curriculum.

Today we are pleased to be able to build on this work with a $6 million grant to support computer science education in 4-H chapters across the country. This is our largest ever computer science education grant from Google.org. It will help ensure that young people in Oklahoma and 25 other states have access to the curriculum, training, and devices to learn and grow their coding skills. I look forward to joining students to do some coding later today!

Thank you to everyone who has a hand in keeping our data center running smoothly. We’re proud to call Oklahoma home, and look forward to Pryor being a vital part of the engine that powers the internet for years to come.

From offices to libraries, building momentum in Michigan

Walking down bustling Woodward Avenue in Detroit on Sunday night, I was impressed by the vitality and transformation of the city. This momentum across Michigan is why we've continued to grow our offices there for the past 13 years. Our workforce is growing at a faster rate outside the Bay Area than in it, and with an office in Ann Arbor and a new office in Detroit, we greatly value being a part of the community in both cities.

Yesterday, I visited Michigan to announce we’re investing $17 million to expand our offices in Detroit and Ann Arbor. The result will be a combined total of 260,000 square feet in office space, giving us the capacity to significantly increase our local workforce in the coming years.

As we continue to grow in Michigan, we want to help people in the state have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy. So I also spent the morning participating in Grow with Google workshops at Taylor Community Library, west of Detroit, where community members came out to learn digital skills, from making a professional presentation to helping their businesses grow online.

Across the country, we’ve teamed up with public libraries and nonprofits that are helping to close the skills divide. The Grow with Google Partner Program makes it easier for these local partners to get the latest resources and materials to teach digital skills; since our launch in January, more than 5,000 organizations have joined the program, with 200 based in Michigan.

In Taylor, I met librarians and nonprofit leaders who have used resources from the Partner Program to train Michiganders in digital skills. Kim Schott, Chapter Chair of Detroit SCORE, has mentored small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout 40 years of working experience. Today, she’s one of Grow with Google’s most active partners and has conducted dozens of trainings to help local small businesses grow by increasing their presence online.

We've held Grow with Google workshops in more than 60 cities and towns across the country since 2017, and one thing is clear: Our partners are leading the way in connecting entrepreneurs, educators, students and job-seekers with digital skills training that can help them succeed. Through our partnerships and our own capital investments, we’re excited to be a part of the momentum in Michigan.

An update on our workplace commitments

Editor’s note: Today, our Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker sent an email to Google employees about progress made to improve our workplace. You can read the note in its entirety below.

It’s been nearly six months since we announced several changes to improve our workplace. I’ve been working on these commitments from day one and I’m pleased to share we’re marking the completion of six of them today.

I recently stepped up to lead Employee Engagement in addition to our diversity, equity and inclusion teams. Making good on these commitments and pushing the company to meet our OKR to progress a representative and inclusive workplace are my top priorities. I care about these issues deeply. I’ve dedicated myself to this work for my entire career, and I’m proud to lead this work at Google.

A big part of my job is to listen to ideas that Googlers have and take feedback on ways we can improve our workplace. We won't implement every idea that our employees (or the outside world) raise, but we always listen, and we consider constructive feedback. For example, earlier this year we announced we will no longer require current and future Google employees to arbitrate employment disputes. We made significant improvements to the standards we require for our temp and vendor workforce.  I will be meeting regularly with Google’s leaders and Alphabet’s Board of Directors to discuss these important issues. And I promise to keep you all updated on our progress. These are all big changes that I hope show our real commitment.


Here’s what we’re announcing today:

  • We’ve simplified and clarified the way employees can raise concerns by bringing multiple channels together on a new dedicated site. We’re also providing a similar site for our temp and vendor workforce, which will be completed by June.
  • We just published (internally) our Investigations Report, the fifth annual summary of employee-related misconduct investigations, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, with an expanded section on sexual harassment investigations.
  • After a four-month pilot, we’re expanding our Support Person Program so that Googlers can bring a colleague to harassment and discrimination investigations.
  • We’re rolling out a new Investigations Care Program to provide better care to Googlers during and after an investigation.
  • We’re sharing a new Investigations Practice Guide outlining how concerns are handled within Employee Relations to explain what employees can expect during the investigations process.
  • We are publicly sharing our workplace policies—including our very clear policies on harassment, discrimination, retaliation, standards of conduct, and workplace conduct.

The commitments we made in November aren’t just about changing policies or launching new programs. We want every Googler to walk into a workplace filled with dignity and respect. Thank you all for the feedback and ideas you’ve shared with us.


Ensuring we pay fairly and equitably

Editor’s note: The following information was provided to employees in January and we’re sharing more broadly now.

Compensation should be based on what you do, not who you are. Every year, each employee’s compensation is modeled algorithmically, based on work-related inputs like the market rate for their job, their location, level and performance rating. If managers then want to apply discretion to adjust an employee’s modeled compensation, they must provide a clear rationale.

To make sure that the modeled amounts, and any changes made by managers, are equitable across gender and racial lines, we conduct an annual pay equity analysis that covers all job groups that meet minimum n-count thresholds for statistical analysis. If we find any statistically significant discrepancies in any job groups, we make upwards adjustments across the group to eliminate the discrepancy.  You can read more about our methodology here (we’ve run pay equity analyses every year since 2012).

In 2018, we included 91percent of Googlers in our analysis, the highest percentage to date. We provided $9.7 million in adjustments to a total of 10,677 Googlers.  

There are a couple of reasons that the pay equity analysis required more adjustments in 2018, compared to 2017. First, the 2018 analysis flagged one particularly large job code (Level 4 Software Engineer) for adjustments. Within this job code, men were flagged for adjustments because they received less discretionary funds than women. Secondly, this year we undertook a new hire analysis to look for any discrepancies in offers to new employees—this accounted for 49 percent of the total dollars spent on adjustments.

Our pay equity analysis ensures that compensation is fair for employees in the same job, at the same level, location and performance. But we know that’s only part of the story. Because  leveling, performance ratings, and promotion impact pay, this year, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of these processes to make sure the outcomes are fair and equitable for all employees.

Our first step is a leveling equity analysis to assess how employees are leveled when they are hired, and whether we can improve how we level.

This expanded review is the next step in our commitment to paying fairly. We’ll keep working to improve our practices and to ensure that Google is a great place to work for everyone.

Investing across the U.S. in 2019

One year ago this week, I was in Montgomery County, Tennessee to break ground for a new data center in Clarksville. It was clear from the excitement at the event that the jobs and economic investment meant a great deal to the community. I’ve seen that same optimism in communities around the country that are helping to power our digital economy. And I’m proud to say that our U.S. footprint is growing rapidly: In the last year, we’ve hired more than 10,000 people in the U.S. and made over $9 billion in investments. Our expansion across the U.S. has been crucial to finding great new talent, improving the services that people use every day, and investing in our business.

Today we’re announcing over $13 billion in investments throughout 2019 in data centers and offices across the U.S., with major expansions in 14 states. These new investments will give us the capacity to hire tens of thousands of employees, and enable the creation of more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia. With this new investment, Google will now have a home in 24 total states, including data centers in 13 communities. 2019 marks the second year in a row we’ll be growing faster outside of the Bay Area than in it.

This growth will allow us to invest in the communities where we operate, while we improve the products and services that help billions of people and businesses globally. Our new data center investments, in particular, will enhance our ability to provide the fastest and most reliable services for all our users and customers. As part of our commitment to our 100 percent renewable energy purchasing, we’re also making significant renewable energy investments in the U.S. as we grow. Our data centers make a significant economic contribution to local communities, as do the associated $5 billion in energy investments that our energy purchasing supports.

Here’s a closer look at the investments we’re making state by state:

Map gif

Midwest

We’re continuing to expand our presence in Chicago and are developing new data centers in Ohio and Nebraska. The Wisconsin office is set to move into a larger space in the next few months—and last November we opened a Detroit office in Little Caesars Arena, where you can see into the space where the Detroit Red Wings play.

detroit office opening

Googlers and partners at our office opening in Detroit last November

South

With new office and data center development, our workforce in Virginia will double. And with a new office in Georgia, our workforce will double there as well. Data centers in Oklahoma and South Carolina will expand, and we’re developing a new office and data center in Texas.

ribbon cutting

Opening one of our data centers last year.

Northeast

Massachusetts has one of our largest sales and engineering communities outside of the Bay Area, and we’re building new office space there. In New York, the Google Hudson Square campus—a major product, engineering and business hub—will come to life over the next couple of years.

West

We’ll open our first data center in Nevada and will expand our Washington office, a key product and engineering hub. In addition to investments in the Bay Area, our investments in California continue with the redevelopment of the Westside Pavillion, and the Spruce Goose Hangar in the Los Angeles area.

googlers

Googlers at work. Our investments this year will go toward expansions in data centers and offices across the U.S.

All of this growth is only possible with our local partners. Thank you for welcoming Google into your communities—we look forward to working together to grow our economy and support jobs in the U.S.


Google Hudson Square: our expanded New York campus

Today we’re taking the next step in our commitment to our New York City presence by investing over $1 billion in capital improvements to establish a new campus, Google Hudson Square. The over 1.7 million square-foot campus is a result of lease agreements at 315 and 345 Hudson Street and a signed letter of intent at 550 Washington Street.

When we came to New York City almost two decades ago, it was our first office outside of California. It’s now home to more than 7,000 employees, speaking 50 languages, working on a broad range of teams including Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Cloud, Technical Infrastructure, Sales, Partnerships and Research.

New York City continues to be a great source of diverse, world-class talent—that’s what brought Google to the city in 2000 and that’s what keeps us here. Earlier this year, we announced the $2.4 billion purchase of the Manhattan Chelsea Market and shared plans to lease additional space at Pier 57. We hope to start moving into the two Hudson Street buildings by 2020, followed by 550 Washington Street in 2022 once the building is complete. Google Hudson Square will be the primary location for our New York-based Global Business Organization.  

We believe that as our company grows, we have a responsibility to support the communities we call home. That means supporting the infrastructure and services that make our neighborhoods unique places to work, live and play. Since 2011, Google has contributed more than $150 million in grants and employee-matched giving to New York nonprofit institutions. We’ve been ardent supporters of iconic neighborhood public resources such as the High Line and Hudson River Park, and partnered with the New York City Public Library System to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots to public school students and families without home internet access. We recently donated $1.5 million to support the Stonewall National Monument Preservation Project and joined forces with 19 local businesses to establish the Westside Community Fund. And to help foster New York’s burgeoning tech ecosystem, we’ve funded programs like MotherCoders NYC, provided space to organizations like Black Girls Code and hosted Cornell Tech while its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island was under construction.

We’ll continue to deepen our commitments in STEM education, workforce development and access to technology. This coming spring, Grow with Google—our initiative to create economic opportunities for all Americans—will come to New York City with a temporary digital skills learning center on the ground floor of our office on 8th Avenue in Chelsea. Grow with Google will host free hands-on workshops, one-on-one coaching and community events with local partners so that New Yorkers have the opportunity to gain the skills needed to thrive in today’s digital economy.  

With these most recent investments in Google Chelsea and Google Hudson Square, we will have the capacity to more than double the number of Googlers in New York over the next 10 years. Our investment in New York is a huge part of our commitment to grow and invest in U.S. facilities, offices and jobs. In fact, we’re growing faster outside the Bay Area than within it, and this year opened new offices and data centers in locations like Detroit, Boulder, Los Angeles, Tennessee and Alabama. And as we continue to grow across the country, we look forward to calling New York City home for many years to come.

A note to our employees

Editor’s note: Today, our CEO Sundar Pichai sent an email to Google employees about changes we’re making to better support them. You can read the note in its entirety below.

Hi everyone,

At Google we try hard to build a workplace that supports our employees and empowers them to do their best work. As CEO, I take this responsibility very seriously and I’m committed to making the changes we need to improve. Over the past few weeks Google’s leaders and I have heard your feedback and have been moved by the stories you’ve shared.

We recognize that we have not always gotten everything right in the past and we are sincerely sorry for that. It’s clear we need to make some changes.

Going forward, we will provide more transparency on how we handle concerns. We’ll give better support and care to the people who raise them. And we will double down on our commitment to be a representative, equitable, and respectful workplace.

Today, we’re announcing a comprehensive action plan to make progress. It’s detailed here and I encourage everyone to read it. Here are some of the key changes:

  • We will make arbitration optional for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. Google has never required confidentiality in the arbitration process and arbitration still may be the best path for a number of reasons (e.g. personal privacy) but, we recognize that choice should be up to you. 
  • We will provide more granularity around sexual harassment investigations and outcomes at the company as part of our Investigations Report.
  • We’re revamping the way we handle and look into your concerns in three ways: We’re overhauling our reporting channels by bringing them together on one dedicated site and including live support. We will enhance the processes we use to handle concerns—including the ability for Googlers to be accompanied by a support person. And we will offer extra care and resources for Googlers during and after the process. This includes extended counseling and career support,
  • We will update and expand our mandatory sexual harassment training. From now on if you don’t complete your training, you’ll receive a one-rating dock in Perf (editor's note: Perf is our performance review system). 
  • We will recommit to our company-wide OKR around diversity, equity and inclusion again in 2019, focused on improving representation—through hiring, progression and retention—and creating a more inclusive culture for everyone. Our Chief Diversity Officer will continue to provide monthly progress updates to me and my leadership team. 

I hope you’ll take the time to read the full range of actions we’re announcing today.


Thank you all for the feedback you’ve shared with us. This is an area where we need to continually make progress and are committed to doing so. We often hear from Googlers that the best part of working here is other Googlers. Even in difficult times, we are encouraged by the commitment of our colleagues to create a better workplace. That’s come through very strongly over the past few weeks.


-Sundar