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UAH students prep for Facebook data center jobs

WAAY 31 spoke to 3 Juniors who will be graduating right when the new facility opens.

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 10:43 PM

Facebook said they plan on hiring as much local talent as possible for the new $750 million data center in north Huntsville.

Christy Dillon is in the computer engineering program at the University of Alabama Huntsville.

She's excited about Facebook investing in the area.

"My first thoughts were 'Wow that needs a lot of people. How are they going to find that many people?' But there are a lot of students with those kinds of majors," said Dillon.

Huntsville is one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the country.

UAH student Christina Stovall is from Huntsville and continues to see the area change what its known for.

"I have definitely seen a shift and I think having facebook come in here will continue that shift more towards being a technology city, rather than just a rocket city," said Stovall.

Kendal Swanson is from Alabama and could have gone to other universities, but chose UAH because of the jobs available in Huntsville.

"The opportunities that were offered after graduating in the area were too grand to pass up anywhere else in the state," said Swanson.

In a server room at the university there is a low hum coming from racks of computers.

It is the same exact hum that will be heard inside the Facebook data center, but instead of a couple of racks of computers in the data center there will be hundreds.

That is why a professor at UAH said they're constantly updating their program.

"We certainly will be reaching out to them as constituents of people who are hiring our students to see what they think an evolving degree needs to look like. We need to be responsive to the people in our community," said UAH Professor Rhonda Gaede.

Dillon does not anticipate it being easy for herself, or any of her peers, to get a job at the new Facebook data center.

"I feel like it will be a little bit competitive," said Dillon.

The average salary these students are competing for is $80 thousand a year.

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