CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – With a brand new, 130,000-square-foot space, Facebook Boston is ready to triple its employee count.
Five years after landing in Boston, the social media giant unveiled its brand new offices at 100 Binney Street in Kendall Square on Wednesday. Right now, there’s a lot of empty space. The office currently houses about 200 employees, and Facebook plans to fill it to more than 600 in the coming years.
In this transition period, Facebook Boston founding engineer Ryan Mack is taking on a larger role locally, while he passes the responsibility of “site leader” to Laney Zamore.
Zamore says a priority of hers is educating, training, and hiring local. “There’s a ton of talent here in engineering, data science, technology,” she told WBZ. “We really want to draw that from the universities, startups, other companies here.”
The company has already paired up with Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College as part of its local outreach plans. It will offer in-person training programs and online digital marketing classes.
Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of Technology and Innovation, Damon Cox, said he is thrilled Facebook has chosen to plant roots in Boston, and that he plans to “hold these companies accountable and make sure they’re making that effort” to reach out to local communities not typically included in the tech industry. “I think Facebook is moving in the right direction,” he said.
Cox joked that Facebook is “the company that got away,” pointing out that it started in a Harvard dorm room before moving to California, growing enormously, and then coming back. “Part of my job is to make sure that great companies like Facebook start here and stay here,” he said.
Leaders at the Cambridge Facebook office say they want to strengthen local ties. It’s evident in the layout of the new office. There are tributes to Boston wherever you look: a string of conference rooms named after the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline,” the “Green Monster Garden” Café, the “Dream On” music room for when you just need a break, and the “red line” and “Freedom Trail” painted along the ground as you walk the halls.
The company says it outlines its specific commitment to Boston – a commitment welcomed by state officials. “What we want to do is make sure the companies have the infrastructure here to stay, succeed, grow, and hire more folks from the Commonwealth,” said Damon Cox.