Facebook parent company Meta to HQ about 100 employees at American Tobacco CampusDate Published:
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, will have offices at American Tobacco Campus in Durham, a spokesperson for the company said.
“We have some office space located in a building on the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, and it will eventually be home to about 100 enterprise engineers,” Ryan Daniels, Meta’s public affairs manager, state & local, told WRAL TechWire.
Multiple sources told WRAL TechWire and WRAL News last year that Meta was looking at establishing a “significant presence” in the Triangle. And the office space at the American Tobacco Campus appears to be the first step in that direction.
But the company had not confirmed that its presence had been formalized until now.
DURHAM, TRIANGLE CONTINUE TO ATTRACT TECH FIRMS
Meta joins Google parent company Alphabet in adding office space in Durham. Apple is also in the process of constructing a campus in Research Triangle Park. And the region continues to attract companies in the life sciences and in the state’s burgeoning clean energy sector, too.
And with economic development comes economic growth. Though growth will also come with challenges, a leader from the City of Durham told WRAL News on Monday.
“We are an attractive place for the modern-day workplace,” said Leo Williams, a City of Durham Councilmember. “It doesn’t matter whether we’re ready or not, they’re coming, and we have to mitigate that growth as best as possible.”
As of Monday morning, the careers website maintained by Meta that lists job postings across the company’s holdings does not list Durham as a site where jobs could be based. However, other job boards, including Zip Recruiter, show openings at Meta that are listed as available in Durham.
“We hope that they’ll be here for the long haul,” said Williams.
FIRMS ADDING JOBS IN THE TRIANGLE, DESPITE TECH SECTOR LAYOFFS
The company laid off about 11,000 employees worldwide last fall, about 13 percent of its workforce at the time the announcement was made.
And the technology sector is experiencing a number of layoffs in 2023, as companies like Meta and Google parent Alphabet are adjusting to macroeconomic changes in today’s economy.
Tech sector CEOs and executive leaders are working at driving efficiency in their businesses, rather than focusing on growth, which had been the case during much of 2020, 2021, and 2022.
But companies are still planning for future growth, and for their future workforce.
“I think it could be a great opportunity for our students,” said Roger Reed, the director of corporate work study at Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School of Facebook’s decision to open an office at American Tobacco Campus, where the school is also based. “To have another option for a company that wants to really get their hands on some community outreach and to help with mentoring and developing a talent pipeline for high school students.”
And the company’s decision to locate in Durham will go a long way for the city’s reputation, said Reed.
“It elevates our area of Durham, specifically the downtown Durham, to just a higher level, both regionally and nationwide,” he said.
TRIANGLE TECH WORKERS STILL VERY MUCH IN DEMAND
While tech job cuts have been in the news, the Triangle has been protected to a degree by the sheer number of employers seeking those skills.
Recently, Eli Lilly announced it will add 100 more jobs at an expansion in Research Triangle Park, and Kempower, a manufacturer of electric vehicle charging stations announced it would bring 300 or more jobs to Durham County at a $41 million facility.
Durham city leaders have previously expressed interest in the draw of high-paying jobs Meta would create, but are also concerned about increasing gentrification and stratification in the city.
“The announcement by Meta of their intention to open an office in Durham is yet another indication that this is the most desirable city in the United States,” said Durham Mayor Pro Tempore Mark-Anthony Middleton in a written statement in June 2022. “However, we also know that this will present a not so unique set of challenges to push for safeguards against gentrification and to ensure the participation of native Black and Brown Durhamites in the growing wealth of our city.”
WHAT A META CAMPUS MEANS FOR DURHAM
When sources and reports indicated that Meta was considering Durham for an office last June, North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden said the Triangle workforce is a continued lure for technology companies.
“Not surprised. Not surprised at all. This area has so much more room to grow,” said Walden. “For the sector, we have four major universities in the Triangle that turn out graduates in the tech and life sciences every year we have a constant labor supply here.”
And while a significant Meta presence, coupled with Google’s campus in Durham and Apple’s future campus in Research Triangle Park, economists told WRAL TechWire last summer that while there will be many winners, there could be losers, as well.
“Big picture, I guess, it’s exciting,” said Daniel Yaussy, who lives and works in Durham about Meta’s decision to open an office downtown. “I think there’s a larger concern about how many companies are coming in and how quickly.”
That includes concerns about public transportation and traffic congestion, parking, and a changing real estate market in neighborhoods in close proximity to downtown.
One local real estate agent predicted that a decision by Meta to locate workers in Durham would result in home prices doubling within 10 years.
“It’s kind of cool that I guess Durham is becoming a little bit more on the map,” said Yaussy. “But weary at the same time.”
Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire
Rendered Image Courtesy of Hines