Microsoft and Biden Unveil Data Center Investment in Wisconsin

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In a collaborative effort, Microsoft and US President Joe Biden have revealed plans to construct a $3.3 billion data center in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. This initiative aims to bolster technological infrastructure, fostering the development and deployment of advanced cloud services and AI applications for companies across Wisconsin and its neighboring regions.

President Biden, accompanied by Microsoft President Brad Smith, made the announcement at Gateway Technical College in Wisconsin. The investment encompasses the establishment of cloud computing and AI infrastructure, the creation of the nation’s inaugural manufacturing-focused AI co-innovation lab, and an initiative to provide AI training to 100,000 state residents.

A significant aspect of the project involves collaboration with Gateway Technical College to establish a Data Center Academy, which will equip approximately 1,000 students with skills required for employment at the new data center and associated positions over the next five years.

Expected to unfold until 2026, the data center investment is projected to generate approximately 2,500 construction jobs by next year. Brad Smith emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to utilizing AI to propel the advancement of manufacturing companies, skills, and employment opportunities, both in Wisconsin and nationwide.

The chosen location for the facility holds historical significance, as it was previously earmarked by former President Donald Trump for a similar investment. However, the original plans by Foxconn Technology, a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturer, have undergone significant downsizing.

President Biden underscored the importance of fulfilling commitments, contrasting his administration’s approach with the unmet promises of his predecessor. Microsoft’s involvement underscores its ongoing investments in AI and data center infrastructure, positioning itself competitively against industry rivals like AWS and Google.

This announcement follows Microsoft’s recent collaboration with asset management firm Brookfield to invest $10 billion in renewable energy, primarily aimed at powering its data center operations. The landmark agreement signifies a substantial leap towards sustainable energy practices and underscores Microsoft’s dedication to innovation and environmental responsibility.

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