It was interesting to watch the local media reports expecting that this time, the Rio Rancho F11X site would close down. Later it was revealed that the site will not be “on the chopping block“. There has never been any comment from Intel on the situation but I can’t imagine the Intel site management is enjoying the speculation.
KOB reported that 215 or 11% of the Rio Rancho plant would be laid off bringing the total workforce to under 1700. With voluntary separation and forced retirements that number will probably be significantly less.
The the continued shrinking of the workforce and lack of upgrades at the site is not helping with the speculation, not to mention not a single word of communication from Intel on the future of the Rio Rancho site. I would not be surprised if the current IRB will run out at the same time the Rio Rancho workforce hits zero.
Anecdotally, people still working there have been telling me how more equipment is being moved out than in. That there is still work to be done and there aren’t enough people to cover it, in particular engineers. I still hear about the “suits” that tour the factory every once in a while as if they are showing it off to be sold.
What has been the response from Governor Martinez about the Intel news? On the day of the Intel announcement she was talking about DWIs. Probably, Intel had already briefed New Mexico leadership that the Rio Rancho site would not be shutting down which I’m pretty sure resulted collective sigh… not this time. It doesn’t seem like the Governor cares at all about the New Mexico economy, unless it can somehow help her move on to the next thing.
Edit: I forgot to mention the convenient timing of the $15,000 that Intel donated to the Food Recovery In Excellent New Directions program. $15k is like petty cash to Intel, who no doubt was looking for something to give them a positive spin.