On 11/12/13 I reported to a conference room on the 3rd floor of the RR5 building at the Intel Rio Rancho, New Mexico site. All technicians were to report at their designated time to find out their employment status. My manager stated he had to read from the script and the only part I remember from that script was that “my skills were found to be less than my peers”, or something to that effect. I was notified by my manager that I was “redeployed”, Intel’s term for people that are being laid off. I was told that I would still be employed until 1/15/2014 but that I did not need to come in unless I wanted to.
Intel had announced a few months before that this layoff was going to happen. While I had been mentally preparing myself for it and thinking about what would happen if I did get laid off I wasn’t really expecting to be let go. I had talked to my manger the day before and he didn’t indicate that he was expecting me to be let go. Of course he wouldn’t have any way to know for sure. He wasn’t involved in the decision making process other than to fill out a “skills matrix” of some kind on me. I don’t have any reason to believe that he wrote something like “this guy has no skillz!”. In fact my performance review for the previous year was quite good and my manager was discussing a promotion for me in the next year or two. He was also encouraging me to go to school to finish my degree. Things seemed pretty positive from my point of view.
If I was missing some sort of skills or I was supposed to know something, at least as far as my manger and I was concerned, I think I would have known. This layoff wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with performance anyway. It was supposed to be all skills based. It’s mystery to my exactly what caused me to be on HR’s shit list, but I’m not believing that this layoff was completely skills based.
Intel did a number of things to make this process go easy on the employees. I effectively got a 2 month paid vacation, they waited until the beginning of the year before I was terminated allowing me to get bonuses and other benefits and I get a severance. They could have given no notice and just terminated my employment immediately.
I have moved on and accepted what has happen. It wasn’t easy especially with 18 years at Intel, it hurt. Feelings of rejection and “why me” had a much bigger impact on me than I expected and its hard not to hold a little resentment over how it all went down. But I was better prepared for this layoff financially than the last one in 2006. I am already taking classes to start a career in another industry. Hopefully New Mexico provides jobs in that industry or I may be moving out of state.
The chip giant received $3.3 million in state tax credits from Arizona for creating about 1,000 new permanent jobs with Fab 42, the Arizona Republic noted in a report breaking the news that the facility has been put on permanent hiatus.
Intel has in fact kept its end of that deal, adding more than 1,000 new workers to its payroll in the state—they just work at other Intel manufacturing facilities in the area, according to Mulloy.
Intel is painting its decision not to open Fab 42 as a simple matter of finding a more efficient means of getting to 14nm production at existing facilities. But it’s hard not to see the impact of a slumping PC market on this development—Gartner recently characterized the double-digit drop in PC shipments in 2013 as the “worst decline in PC market history.”
Intel Corp. on Sunday announced an agreement with Idaho-based Micron to take possession of a Kiryat Gat manufacturing facility it had leased to the company, which had been set to close within two years. It plans to hire the roughly 800 employees working there on a full time basis.
“Due to a shifting market, we are making some difficult business decisions. Specifically, in New Mexico, we have notified employees of a phased process of redeploying up to 400 positions,” company spokeswoman Natasha Martell Jackson said in an email.
The company said it is offering Rio Rancho employees jobs at other Intel locations, buyouts and severance packages to achieve the workforce reduction. Once it becomes clearer how many are willing to take the various offers, the company said it will be able to offer more detail on the reduction.
For the third time in five years, computer chipmaker Intel failed to ensure that 60 percent of the new hires at its Rio Rancho plant are New Mexico residents.
That means the company will have to spend $100,000 toward school-to-work programs, under an agreement it made with Sandoval County.
Liz Shipley, Intel’s government affairs manager in New Mexico, said as technology becomes more complex, the company is having more difficulty finding candidates locally and nationally who have the needed master’s or doctoral degrees in science and engineering.
“It’s not just in New Mexico; we’re seeing a shortage throughout the country,” Shipley told Sandoval County commissioners on Thursday.
A report Shipley presented to the commission showed that about 26 percent – or 19 of the 74 employees the company hired in 2012 – were state residents.
Intel currently has about 3,300 employees at its Rio Rancho plant. The 60 percent hiring goal was one of the conditions the county set in 2004 when it approved a $16 billion revenue bond for Intel.
Intel missed the goal in 2011 and 2009 as well. In 2011, 35 percent of 349 new hires were from New Mexico. In 2009, three of eight new hires were state residents. In 2010, the company’s New Mexico hires were right at the 60 percent mark.
An article in the Albuquerque Journal “Intel’s N.M. future” looks at the Intel Rio Rancho site’s comparison to other state and it’s possibility of building out to support Intel’s latest technology.
Now, with Moore’s law still pushing Intel to double down, or perhaps double up, on the number of transistors it crams onto each chip, New Mexico is vying for the next round of investment in factory upgrades to produce smaller transistors, measured in nanometers.
The plant was last upgraded in 2009 to go from 45-nanometer transistors on chips to 32 nanometers. But that means today Rio Rancho is two cycles behind the curve, since Intel is already producing 22-nanometer chips at other factories, and the company is building manufacturing capacity for 14-nanometer chips at its plants in Arizona and Ireland.
“The next node is 10 nanometer, and no decision has been made yet about where that will be,” said Kirby Jefferson, who became Intel’s Rio Rancho site manager in May. “New Mexico could be 10 nanometers, but next after that is seven nanometers, and maybe New Mexico could be the place for that.”
Another article on the Albuquerque Journal “Intel’s RR plant still viable” that came out at the same time wonders what if Intel’s New Mexico site doesn’t get any new technology.
It’s a question that surfaces in conversations at coffee shops and board rooms in the Albuquerque metropolitan area: Will Intel Corp. invest in upgrades at its plant in Rio Rancho to produce next-generation technology or, as the chips it now produces here become older and less useful, will the Rio Rancho factory wither up and go away?
But the man now running the show in Rio Rancho, site manager Kirby Jefferson, says that kind of talk is premature, because even without upgrades for newer technology, the plant will have plenty of work for years to come.