Microsoft Corp. is expanding its data center in Mecklenburg County, creating 30 new jobs.

Microsoft will build two facilities on the campus to increase capacity for its growing customer base.

The company built the facility in 2010 and expanded the site in 2011. Microsoft is offsetting the gross carbon emissions from this data center by purchasing the equivalent amount of renewable energy credits.

"We appreciate the strong working relationship with the State of Virginia and the County of Mecklenburg," said Christian Belady, general manager of Microsoft Data Center Services. "This expansion will allow us to meet the growing demand from consumers and businesses for our cloud services in the region in an increasingly efficient manner. These facilities showcase state-of-the-art designs developed from our latest technology and infrastructure research that continues to minimize water, energy use, and building costs, while increasing computing capacity, software capabilities, and server utilization."

Microsoft is planning to invest US$348m in expanding its data center capacity in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

The investment will fund construction of two more facilities on the company's campus, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell's office announced Wednesday. The investment adds to the $499m Microsoft invested to build the initial data center at the site in 2010.

Joint Enterprise Zone Map Greensville County and Emporia CityThe County of Greensville and City of Emporia have been awarded a Joint Enterprise Zone designation through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. The Governor can designate up to 30 Enterprise Zones for a period of 10 years with the potential to be renewed for up to two subsequent five-year periods. The localities submitted an application and competed for one of only two available zones in 2013.

The Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) program, which went into effect July 1, 2005, is a partnership between state and local government that encourages job creation and private investment. VEZ accomplishes this by designating Enterprise Zones throughout the state and providing two grant-based incentives, the Job Creation Grant and the Real Property Investment Grant to qualified investors and job creators within those zones. In addition to state incentives, each locality offers its own package of incentives tailored to their unique needs.

"The Virginia Enterprise Zone program is a successful economic revitalization tool for business growth and job creation," said Bill Shelton, director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. "This joint zone with Greensville and Emporia will provide incentives to create new jobs, promote private investment and support the overall growth of the local economy."

The Virginia Tobacco Commission has awarded the Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) $6.1 million to acquire additional land and continue developing the industrial site. Mecklenburg County and the City of Emporia are partners in the Regional Industrial Facilities Authority created to support the site's growth. The localities submitted a joint application to the Tobacco Commission for this funding opportunity.

Senator Frank Ruff, who serves as the Vice Chair for the Tobacco Commission states, "It is great that we are moving forward on a mega site in the region. I am additionally proud that political leaders in Emporia, Greensville County, and Mecklenburg County have wisely joined forces for the good of people of region."

Otterdam Road, a two lane rural route, will serve as the gateway to MAMaC. The Virginia Department of Transportation has awarded a $508,000 grant for engineering of the necessary upgrades to Otterdam road from Interstate 95 exit 13 to the Center's entrance. This award was made through the Economic Development Access program.

Greensville County and the City of Emporia have been working closely on several projects lately. The joint hard work and effort have paid off in a big way. The local governments have been awarded a Joint Enterprise Zone designation through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

The Governor can designate up to 30 Enterprise Zones for a period of 10 years with the potential to be renewed for up to two subsequent five-year periods. The localities submitted an application and competed for one of only two available zones in 2013. The process was very competitive.

Sherry Swinson, Executive Director, Virginia's Growth Alliance, updated the Brunswick County Board of Supervisors on the new marketing identity "Virginia's Growth Alliance."

She said the economic development marketing organization formerly known as the TransTech Alliance rebranded itself to better reflect the area it serves. The goal of Virginia's Growth Alliance is to market regional economic development opportunities in a six-county, one-city region in southern Virginia. Members of the Alliance include the Counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Lunenburg, Nottoway, and Mecklenburg and the city of Emporia.

The organization plans to deploy its new brand in a variety of ways including presentations at regional board and council meetings, area civic organization meetings, in coordination with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, regional marketing materials and a new website currently being developed.

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