Google is launching or expanding its data centers and office holdings in 14 states. The company now has offices and data centers in 21 states, with thousands of new hires planned for this year.Much of the Google expansion will be aimed at supporting cloud development.

Google’s investment in cloud infrastructure will have direct and indirect benefits, the company said. “People often discuss ‘the cloud’ as if it’s built out of air,” said CEO Sundar Pichai in a blog post. “But it’s actually made up of buildings, machinery, and people who construct and manage it all. Today we employ an estimated 1,900 people directly on our data center campuses. We’ve created thousands of construction jobs—both for our data centers themselves and for renewable energy generation. And our renewable energy purchasing commitments to date will result in energy infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States.”

Google Data Center Expansion
One example of the increased investment is a new data center in Clarksville/Montgomery County, Tennessee. That project is part of a $2.5 billion investment in Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Oklahoma. The other states in which Google is making new or increasing its investments are California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

Google also announced a $300,000 grant to Goodwill of Middle Tennessee. The money will go toward incorporating digital skills training into the organization’s workforce development program.

The movement to the cloud goes beyond Google, of course, and is accelerating. Last year, IDC said that the increase in spending on information and communications technology (ICT) will grow from $4.3 trillion in 2016 to $5.6 trillion by 2021, which is a compound annual growth rate of 6%. The firm says that the growth should be seen in the context of the transition from mature traditional infrastructure to the cloud.