“The sky is the limit.” That’s the phrase Microsoft Data Center Project Manager Brittany Einspahr uses to describe her employer’s potential impact on Grant County. Though, it’s clear that such a quote is perfectly applicable, with or without Brittany’s testimony. Facts of Microsoft’s profound effect on Grant County is based on the relationship that’s transpired between it and the surrounding community over the last several years. However, the tech industry leader’s influence on individual staff members like Brittany is magnified, which is why the Quincy data center staffer spoke to Grant County’s Industrial Alliance (GCIA). Brittany’s journey began west of the Cascades growing up in Everett and Camano Island. The mother of four moved in eastern Washington in 2005 and now lives in Ephrata with her husband. What’s intriguing is that her career path didn’t begin with a high-profile role like the one she has now, it began at Walmart.
“I worked at Walmart in Ephrata from December 2005 to April 2011. I was a cashier, bakery associate, produce associate, ICS (Inventory Control Specialist… we unloaded trucks and stocked shelfs), and then the ICS Lead,” Einspahr told GCIA.” Brittany says spent the mid-to-late 2000’s studying at the local college, “I attended Big Bend Community College and acquired my AA degree in 2010. As I did not know what I wanted to be when I “grew up” and thought I better prepare for whatever the next step looks like.”
Sometime after graduating from BBCC, Einspahr says she came to a crossroads in her career when her friend Andrew recommended working for a company by the name of Securitas.
“Securitas is a security company contracted by Microsoft DC (data center) in Quincy. I started in December 2010. I loved it! People were friendly and happy the whole DC and everyone in the building treated you like a human. Not to mention the job was so easy…. Too easy I quickly became hungry for more. Gigi Lowry was the Operations Manager for Siemens, they were the vendor that supported logistics, deployments, break-fix, and decommissions,” Brittany told GCIA.
Apprehensive about leaving her job at Walmart, Brittany says she juggled both jobs until April 2011 when she decided to fully segue into the tech industry as a full-time professional. Brittany began working for Siemens doing data security from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, Brittany says she was hired as a Microsoft data center project manager, a place of employment she feels gives her a sense of belonging.
“I work at Microsoft as a Data Center Project Manager. DCPM’s manage incoming, outgoing, and retrofitting projects. If we don’t have space, power, or infrastructure in place we coordinate with vendors and teams to get what we need in place to bring in capacity. We insure that the people who work onsite have what they need to do their job safe and efficient. I love that my job is fast pace, busy, and is always changing as technology does. I am extremely lucky to work for Microsoft, they make me believe that I am important and valued. I love the people that I work with, Microsoft employees and vendors!”
Brittany acknowledged the pivotal role of a Data Center Project Manager at Microsoft and the bearing both have on the region.
“Microsoft is crucial not only to this area but for the entire world. We provide cloud computing infrastructure. This means we support most online services that make your life enjoyable or workable. DCPMs are important to Microsoft because we bridge the communication gap between Microsoft, the requestors, the vendors, and finance. Microsoft keeps growing. Microsoft Datacenters are bringing tons of jobs in the area; construction, low voltage crews, electrician crews, security, cleaning crews, technicians, engineers, critical environment teams, etc. These jobs spread the need of other jobs in community. UPS/FedEx/USPS, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, even road work!”
Brittany says she takes pride in the correlation between the tech industry and local progress.
“More work and better paying jobs increases the desire to be in this area and that helps the housing development. The taxes that Quincy receives from big industries like Microsoft allow them to build new schools and new fire departments and work on the roads.”
Brittany isn’t all work and no play; she says topography, geography, and local amenities is what inspires her to stay in the Columbia Basin.
“I love the weather it’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. I like the traffic compared to the coast. I love the big open spaces. You can do anything in this area, water sports, snow sports, hiking, biking, dirt bikes quads, swim, hunt, camp… you name it…”