Intel Corp. reduced its Rio Rancho workforce by 700 people in 2016, and the plant now employs around 1,200, Intel said Monday.
“Nearly half the employees that left the Rio Rancho site were retirements,” Intel said in its annual report to the Sandoval County Commission. “Most of the remainder were relocated or chose a voluntary separation package.”
That’s a lot of people and a lot more than the 400 that were supposedly let go when I was laid off in 2014.
The last rumor I heard was that they are keeping the place alive through 2019 or some such time until Fab 42 starts to come online. Then they will offer everyone a job in Arizona or lay them off. That will be the end of Intel in New Mexico.
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.
In the March 25th issue of the Albuquerque Free Press (It’s a PDF download, not a online article) they suggest Intel will leave NM after 2015.
The poor relationship between intel management and state government doesn’t help things. I found this part particularly interesting.
Daymon Ely, a former Sandoval County Commis- sion chairman, said that Intel officials gave him the impression that they never really liked New Mexico.
“For whatever reason, their employees did not like coming to New Mexico. It was not a desirable place because it didn’t have a lot of the big-city stuff like Phoenix had, or places in California,” Ely said.
That was made clear, Ely said, when Intel officials flatly told him they weren’t interested in exploring other sites in Rio Rancho to quell the criticisms com- ing from Corrales. The Chandler plant, which opened the same year as the Rio Rancho facility, has faced nothing like the criticism Intel endured here, several economic-development officials told ABQ Free Press.
And then there are simply the intangibles, the signs of dysfunction that builds as a relationship goes sour.
Tommy Hughes, a former Sandoval County bond attorney who negotiated industrial revenue bond deals between the county and Intel, just doesn’t like Intel executives.
“When somebody from Intel’s mouth is moving, they are usually lying,” Hughes said. He cited negotiations in 1995 when Intel said it would provide Rio Rancho with a high school.
I haven’t worked there in over a year now. I don’t miss it. I have many friends still working there and they say that the working conditions are bad and moral is at a all time low.
Fab11x is still producing product, just older product on older equipment. With the layoffs and voluntary separation packages the size of the workforce continues to shrink and everyone is having to do more work with less.
Intel Corp.’s plant in Rio Rancho has been passed over again for next-generation nanometer chip technology, but the plant is still an integral part of the company’s global production chain, New Mexico site manager Kirby Jefferson told the Albuquerque Economic Forum on Wednesday morning.
“This site was not selected for the 10 nanometer chips, that’s for certain,” Kirby said. “They will do it at other facilities. Seven nanometer is the next one, and we still don’t know where that will be.”
This is the third time New Mexico has been passed over for next-generation chip technology. The Rio Rancho site currently produces 32-nanometer chips, following a $2.5 billion investment in 2009 to upgrade the plant from 45-nanometer technology.
Now, being three cycles behind the curve makes it more difficult to compete for next-generation chips.
“The investment would have to be extremely high here, because we’re so far behind,” Kirby said.
The New Mexico Intel site hasn’t had the latest upgrades in 3 generations and the longer it goes without getting those upgrades the harder it is to get future upgrades. It seems to spell doom for the Intel New Mexico site.
“The New Mexico plant is front and center with what’s going on at Intel,” he said. “Intel is committed to this community. The thinking all the way up the chain is to keep this operation going.”
Call me skeptical. If I was a highly skilled worker at this site I would certainly see doom and gloom and I would be shopping my skills elsewhere, further adding to the decline of the site. If I recall correctly, when Intel was producing the Sandy Bridge processor the Intel New Mexico site was supposedly providing the majority of income to the whole Intel corporation buy producing the majority of those chips while the other sites were ramping up Haswell.
It feels as if the Intel management has kick the Intel New Mexico site to the curb.
TAA was approved for laid off Intel Rio Rancho, New Mexico employees on March 7th. Details can be viewed from the TAA website (use the Search for Trade Adjustment Assistance Cases webisite, type “Intel Corp” in the Search For Company Name box and look for TAW number 85006).
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federal program of the United States government to act as a way to reduce the damaging impact of imports felt by certain sectors of the U.S. economy. The current structure features four components of Trade Adjustment Assistance: for Workers, Firms, Farmers, and Communities. Each Cabinet level Department was tasked with a different sector of the overall Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The program for workers is the largest, and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program for Farmers is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Firms and Communities programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
TAA was designed to help workers who lost their job due to foreign competition find jobs in new industry with job training. In my case that is exactly what I’m doing, learning new skills in a new industry. I’m hopeful that TAA will help assist me. However some of the better benefits of TAA including lost wage assistance and help paying for heath insurance expired at the end of 2013. I’m not sure exactly what benefits will be available but it appears it will be limited to paying for school.
Also according the the Wikipedia article it does not look like TAA has been very effective and won’t be renewed in 2015. Hopefully it will be replaced with a more effective program.
I contacted the TAA representative in the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and was informed that the state is working out the details with the federal government. I should be receiving a letter in the mail sometime in the future which will explain what I need to do next. I was not given any indication of when that letter will arrive.
Intel Corp plans to reduce its global workforce of 107,000 by about 5 percent this year as the chipmaker, struggling with falling personal-computer sales, shifts focus to faster-growing areas, a company spokesman said on Friday.
The announcement, equivalent to over 5,000 positions, comes a day after Intel posted a fourth-quarter earnings report that did little to dispel concerns about a slowing PC industry.
“This is part of aligning our human resources to meet business needs,” spokesman Chris Kraeuter told Reuters on Friday.
The job reductions may include early retirement, attrition and other options, Kraeuter added. He declined to say whether details of the changes had been announced internally.
I predict more layoffs and not just in New Mexico and it sounds like they will be in the first quarter of 2014.
In its report on Thursday, Intel forecast March-quarter restructuring charges of $200 million, a portion of which could be earmarked for severance pay.