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Jackson County students learn skills needed to compete for Google data center jobs

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HOLLYWOOD, Ala. (WHNT) --  Plans for a Google data center are becoming a reality in Jackson County. As that is in the works, the county's students are preparing for the jobs that center will create.

The Earnest Pruett Center of Technology in Jackson County provides high school students a strong platform to enter the workforce or college with a wide variety of skill sets. Because of Google's announcement this year to build a $600 million data center in the Stevenson Bridgeport area and to fill a need, the entity is adding to its programs. "We are in the process of installing an IT program here at the tech school," Director Kerry Wright says, "Hopefully by the beginning of school next year, that program will be in place."

Wright says that program will add to the skills the students are already learning at the center that are a step in obtaining those jobs Google will make available. "We were informed their biggest asset is work ethic, solve skills, dependability, ability to work in a group," Wright explains.

The data center will bring about 100 jobs to the area.

Google is building its data center using part of the recently shut down TVA Widows Creek coal plant. It will be the 14th Google data center across the globe.