TOWN OF LOCKPORT — Yahoo!’s Lockport data center facility is more than safe from layoffs announced by the company Wednesday.
In fact, the Lockport site will be expanded, a Yahoo! executive told state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, on Wednesday afternoon.
“Not only are all of the jobs safe in this area, but they have chosen the Town of Lockport as one of the facilities to expand their services and bring more jobs to Niagara County,” Maziarz, R-Newfane, said.
“Layoffs are a terrible thing ... but this is very, very, very good news for us, for a change.”
On Wednesday, Yahoo! announced a company restructuring and the coming layoff of 2,000 people nationwide, or 14 percent of its workforce. Despite two previous rounds of job cuts since 2008, the company has been losing revenue steadily, according to various published reports.
Lockport Industrial Development Agency has been in talks with Yahoo! since late last year regarding acquisition of additional land in the town industrial park, where the Lockport data center is sited, according to Executive Director David Kinyon. “Yahoo! wants it primarily to expand data center facilities space,” he said.
Yahoo!’s Dave Dibble, executive vice president of central technology, told Maziarz that the Lockport site is one of two nationwide that will be expanded in the restructuring. The company views it as an attractive site because it’s new and there’s room to enlarge it.
“While this is a difficult day for our company, we knew that the Town of Lockport Yahoo facility is the place in New York where the consolidation of Yahoo would be successful and where we can have a growing presence,” Dibble said in a written statement.
Yahoo! favoring its Lockport site is a good sign for the region, town Supervisor Marc Smith suggested.
“I am proud that Yahoo! has chosen our facility for consolidation. This is a clear indication of how dedicated and hardworking our workforce is, and that Niagara County, the town, is a place where business can not only locate to but succeed, “ Smith said.
Yahoo! will seek an additional allocation of low-cost hydropower for an expanded Lockport data center, according to Maziarz. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was in Buffalo on Wednesday morning when news of the layoffs hit, already is aware.
“The governor says (more power) absolutely is on the table,” Maziarz said.
The specifics of a second land purchase in the town industrial park are not ironed out between Yahoo! and the IDA yet, nor have any timetables or build-out particulars been presented, Kinyon said.