Small towns hungry for economic stimulus have found a willing suitor in the Internet giant, though some accuse Google of using the promise of jobs to win unfair concessions.
"At first glance, The Dalles, Oregon, and Lenoir, North Carolina, don't seem to have much in common.
Separated by a continent, Lenoir's economic roots are in the furniture manufacturing industry, while The Dalles grew up around agriculture and aluminum. Lenoir nestles in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, while The Dalles sits at the mouth of the scenic Columbia River Gorge.
But in other respects, the two cities are soul sisters.
Both are small and relatively rural. Lenoir has about 17,000 people, The Dalles about 15,000. Both have recently undergone manufacturing slowdowns that left large numbers of workers unemployed. Both have taken initiatives designed to make their towns more attractive to new industry. And both have succeeded in drawing one notably high-profile resident.
It's a growing sisterhood."
"Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the "Internet mainstay is spreading out across America's heartland with data centers not only in The Dalles and Lenoir, but also soon to be in Council Bluffs, Iowa; Pryor, Oklahoma; and Goose Creek, South Carolina.
As it pursues the goal of ever-improving connectivity in communities with the resources it needs to reach that objective, Google is changing the community dynamic in these small towns."