(Waukee) - State economic development officials Thursday morning awarded almost 20 million dollars in tax incentives to Apple, which plans to place two data centers in the Des Moines suburb of Waukee. Professor ofEconomics at Drake, Tom Rootsays it makes sense Apple wants to build its newest data center here. The state Economic Development Authority board awarded $19.65 million in state investment tax credits for a pledge to create at least 50 jobs, at a qualifying wage of at least $29.12 per hour.
Earlier Thursday the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved $20 million in state tax incentives.
Apple said the project will generate more than 550 jobs in construction and operations, but did not specify how many of those jobs would be long-term positions. The company has pledged to power all of its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy, and has already reached that goal in the United States and 23 other countries. The company will also contribute up to $100 million to a new Public Improvement Fund for parks, libraries, recreational spaces and infrastructure in Waukee.
Speaking alongside Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the facility "will create hundreds of jobs for people in Iowa from construction to engineering". "This gives us an opportunity with a global company like Apple to say we are the place to be, this is where your business should locate".
"Apple is going to continue to invest in that future, for Waukee, for Iowa and for America", Cook said.
"It is a minimal investment for the amount of investment that's being done in the state of Iowa", Reynolds added.
Apple already has data centers in California, Oregon, Nevada and North Carolina.
Silicon Valley CEOs have publicly prioritized creating tech jobs in America over the past year, with many trying to walk a delicate line to appease both supporters of President Donald Trump and Silicon Valley's more liberal workforce.
"It's anticipated that a data center employs 1,688 local workers during the construction phase of this project", Murray said.