Governor Kay Ivey, other officials, help break ground on Google data center in Jackson Co.

BRIDGEPORT, Ala. -- Governor Kay Ivey, Congressman Mo Brooks, and other state and local leaders helped officially break ground on Google's newest U.S. data center in Jackson County Monday morning.

The small city of Bridgeport is home to just over 2,000 people. Now it's home to Google's 14th data center site in the world. "For them to locate here in Alabama sends a strong sign to companies around the world that there's something special about doing business in Alabama," Governor Kay Ivey said.

Monday morning she joined other state and local leaders to officially break ground on the site, where construction is already underway.

The company announced the new site back in 2015  - its 14th data center site globally. "Ultimately 100 jobs and obviously lots of support activities that will require many more folks than that, and in construction, quite a few," said site manager Brenda Standridge. Those people will work to keep Google's many functions operational for users across the world.

"It's truly a feather in our cap. Everybody on the planet who uses a computer has heard of Google, and Google had the whole world to choose from for its fourteenth data processing site and it chose here," said U.S. Representative Mo Brooks.

Google data center site in Bridgeport, Alabama

Governor Ivey says the fact that Google picked Alabama for its center sends a message to other companies.  "That there's something special about doing business in Alabama. That our workforce is second to none and the state has leadership that is committed to helping businesses be successful, so this is a huge opportunity."

Locally, Bridgeport Mayor David Hughes says the site construction is already having an impact. "In our businesses, our gas stations, our restaurants, and everything. You can just tell it's going to pick up and get better and better."

State leaders hope the data center paves a way for more companies, and in turn, bring jobs to Alabama. "That's a message to the rest of the world that we've got a lot to offer here in the Tennessee Valley, and I hope the rest of the world is paying attention," Brooks said.

Company leaders say the first buildings on the site will be operational next year.

At the end of the ceremony, Google donated $100,000 to the Jackson County Schools system for science, technology, engineering, and math program development. Mayor Hughes gave Google company leaders and Governor Kay Ivey the keys to the city at the ceremony.