The contractor responsible for providing security at Facebook’s data centers in Prineville will be laying off 85 employees at the end of the month, as the internet giant switches security companies.

Lee Weinstein, president of Weinstein PR, which represents Facebook, wrote in an email that Facebook is changing security providers at all of its U.S. data centers, including those in Prineville. Following a request for proposal process, G4S Secure Solutions — an international security company with more than 54,000 employees in North America, according to the company’s website — will be replacing the California-based Security Industries Specialists.

As a result of losing the contract, Security Industries Specialists will be laying off 85 of its employees responsible for guarding the Prineville data centers, according to a notice filed with state employment officials Dec. 31. The official termination date is Jan. 31, according to the notice.

Weinstein wrote that G4S has an open recruitment policy, and added that Security Industries Specialists’ employees will be encouraged to re-apply with G4S, though the security company will make the final determination on hiring.

“It is expected that many will transition to G4S,” Weinstein wrote.

He added that in December approximately 200 full-time and contracted employees worked at the data centers, more than 40 percent of which were employed by Security Industries Specialists. Weinstein did not provide a specific hiring target for the new security company, but added that the company will need more hours from employees — including security contractors — as the company continues to expand in Prineville.

“So, there’s a greater demand for workers overall,” Weinstein wrote.

Facebook arrived in Crook County in 2011, as part of an economic development plan to lift the rural county out of the Great Recession. Since that time, Crook County’s unemployment rate has dropped from 14.3 percent in 2011, to 7 percent last November. Over the same period, Facebook has expanded its operations to include around 1.1 million square feet of space in Prineville. Weinstein added that the company’s third data center in the city is slated to be complete in July.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818, shamway@bendbulletin.com

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