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General Motors was born in Flint in 1908, at its peak employing nearly 80,000 workers in the area. By 2009, the 101-year-old auto giant filed for bankruptcy and employed just 8,000. Flint’s unemployment rate that year topped 15 percent.
Disaster recovery is of increasing concern as the 2013 Super Bowl blackout and Hurricane Sandy showed the vulnerability of existing infrastructure in much of the nation. Michigan is safer from natural disaster than any other state in the Continental U.S. with companies looking more to the national’s “North Coast” in the Midwest for safer data storage.
Nearly four years after the GM bankruptcy, Flint area unemployment is down to 9 percent as the auto industry comes back and other new players emerge. Online Tech’s Mid-Michigan data center, designed by EDS to be a disaster recovery site for General Motors, is one of 15 shuttered GM sites in the Flint area that have taken on new lives.
“It would be great to see other companies leverage the assets that GM has left behind,” Online Tech Co-CEO Mike Klein said in a recent interview. The 32,000 square foot Flint site has been considered “a diamond in the rough” by Online Tech staff. Healthcare providers and other tech companies like Repocast.com are also growing, seeing great opportunities at the former old GM sites.
Online Tech has already invested $1 million into updating the site and received an EPA ENERGY STAR certification for their energy efficiency efforts in 2012. In January this year, Online Tech announced it is planning to spend another $1 million, and hire 7-8 technical staff over the next 12-18 months. The ideal candidates range from early-level career system administrators with 3-4 years of experience, to more senior-level candidates with 6-7 years of experience and VMWare, Storage Area Networks (SANs), firewalls and security protocols, and related skills.
Site Selection Magazine this month dubbed upper Midwest cities like Online Tech’s corporate headquarters of Ann Arbor “the Trust Belt,’’ for cutting taxes and adopting a more business-friendly climate. Online Tech has plans to add four new Midwest data centers, the company’s biggest expansion ever.
Online Tech, Michigan’s largest managed data center is becoming the largest in the Midwest, expanding into at least four new markets. The “Fort Knox’’ for data is known for complete redundancy – “backups for everything” – from multiple back-up generators and backup systems to locations straddling two power grids and even two CEOs.
Online Tech leads in secure, compliant hosting services including cloud hosting, managed dedicated servers, Michigan colocation and disaster recovery. Online Tech’s Midwest data centers assure mission critical applications are always available, comply with government & industry regulations, and continue operating after a disaster. Backed by independent HIPAA, PCI, SSAE 16, and SOC 2, Online Tech delivers the security, privacy, and availability expected from world class data center operators. For more information, call (877)740-5028, email [email protected] or visit www.onlinetech.com.
Press Contact: April Sage, Director or Marketing, Healthcare Vertical, Online Tech, 734.213.2020 x 113 or [email protected]