FBI center in Pocatello to employ about 600 after expansion
POCATELLO — FBI Section Chief Mike Malinowski discussed the FBI’s data center expansion during the Bannock Development Corporation’s 27th annual Economic Symposium at the Stephens Performing Arts Center on Wednesday.
Malinowski, an FBI veteran of 32 years, discussed construction of the center, additional office space, a three-level parking garage and the number and types of jobs that will be created. The total number of jobs includes both pre-existing and newly added positions.
“Once we are done, we are going to have the capacity of just a shade over 600 people inside the walls of the FBI property of Quinn Road and Poleline,” he said. “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to bring in additional jobs, and not just IT jobs.”
Many of the incoming jobs will include administrative and human resources positions, analytic and intelligence positions, finance positions, and computer evidence positions, he said.
These are things the FBI does very regularly and very well, Malinowski said.
“We would like to have a footprint for all of those positions inside of this area of Southeast Idaho,” he said.
The jobs will eventually be posted onto FBIJobs.gov, and Malinowski encourages people to look them up when the time grows closer. He estimated it will be 18 to 24 months until the FBI starts posting job positions.
They are also planning to bring in an internship program for Southeast Idaho that targets the local university students, which they’ve been unable to do in the past due to geographical issues.
“We would love to bring in interns from college where you can get paid to be an intern…and be a full-fledged employee at the end of your four years in college,” he said.
As for the FBI data center expansion, there will also be 40,000 square feet of office space added as well as a three-story parking garage with over 450 spaces.
Malinowski hopes to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the parking garage in summer 2019.
One of the main concerns raised over the FBI expansion is the lack of houses within the community. While they expect many positions will be filled by locals, they also expect positions to be filled by newcomers to the area.
This influx creates a dilemma in attracting new members of the community.
“We need places for them to live,” Malinowski said. “And I know from being here for over four years that we’ve made some strides at this point, but our desire is to further those strides and continue the building of additional homes and neighborhoods and expanding this neighborhood as much as we can because we would love to offer our employees…quality places to live.”
While the FBI has started to approach these issues, others within the community are currently seeking to help improve the housing shortage, including the Bannock Development Corporation and those within the real estate sector.
John Regetz, Bannock Development’s president and CEO, also said the organization has extended a hand to help in the expansion. It will host tours at the FBI for Idaho’s congressional delegation and others to help them get to know the project. They’ve also helped in grant writing and connecting the FBI to businesses in the community.
“We are really excited about the FBI expansion as well as the other growth we see going on in the community, and we always do our best to accommodate that,” Regetz said.
Malinowski believes it’s important to work together as one unit, and so far things are going well.
“We want to be an embedded portion of this community,” he said. “And the FBI is currently making strides to be more embedded as we are expanding our facility.”