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.
Yesterday Intel announced that it’s closing the Massachusetts fab 17 affecting 700 employees, according to the Boston post “Intel will close Mass. plant, cut 700 jobs“. Today Intel announced that it’s “redeploying” 400 people at it’s Rio Rancho Fab11x plant according to the Albuquerque Journal “Intel cutting 400 positions from Rio Rancho plant“.
“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.
In March of 2009 Intel had layoffs and I wrote “Planning For Loosing My Job And Extended Unemployment” when the Rio Rancho site laid off 200 people.
I survived that layoff and wrote “Intel’s New Mexico Site Layoffs, One Week Later“. I don’t know if I will survive this one.
A few more articles from The Albquerque Journal “Intel plant in Rio Rancho cutting 400 jobs” and “City reacts to Intel’s job cut announcement“.
There were 50 people laid off at the Intel Rio Rancho site on Monday according to New Mexico Business Weekly. They were part of the CS group.
“The new layoffs will affect corporate service groups that have responsibilities for overseeing facilities and operations,” Shipley said. “The layoffs announced last month are more specific to our manufacturing groups.”
These layoffs were announced in November of 2008 before the 100 – 200 layoffs were announced but not widely reported. So far no one I know was let go but I haven’t heard from everyone yet. My thoughts go out to anyone who was let go.
I hesitate to blog about work, thinking it will get me in trouble. The most pressing issue in the last month, maybe the last 6 months, has been the layoffs at work, New Mexico’s Intel site in Rio Rancho. Last week everyone got their “message”, either placed in the same position, placed in another position, Not placed with redeployment or just not placed. I was placed with some changes to my current position.
I was prepared both mentally and financially to be laid off. My years of employment at Intel would have provided me with several months of pay. The state is helping everyone find jobs (you know, our Governor is running for President). There was also the chance of going to school. I know, I should be grateful that I have a job particularly since Intel pays so well. Especially for New Mexico. But there were some benefits to being laid off and I am ready for a new career. Or that’s what I have convinced myself leading up to last week. Not to mention that the whole process left a bad taste in my mouth.
There is no good way to do a layoff. There seems to be bad ways to do layoffs. The common way, it seems to me from talking with others who have gone through layoffs at other companies, is that people are suddenly missing one day without warning. You show up to work and a bunch of people are no longer there. Intel’s way was different, it was a process. I could go on and on and on about this, but I will leave it at this for now. Since I still have a job, I want to keep it and stay out of trouble.
The whole reason for these layoffs, which has been widely reported, is that Intel is moving from 200mm to 300mm wafer sizes. There are two factories here, a 200 and 300 one. Merging them together with all the wonders of automation in the 300mm factory means you need less people to run it. New Mexico didn’t have the only 200mm factory, all other factories like this should pay attention to what happened here.
It’s good that I have a job, at least I can focus on other things that don’t involve looking for a job. I paid off my debt in preparation, that was also a good thing. This next year should bring along some changes, time to hold on for the ride.
Related: June 30, 2006: Intel — will it, or won’t it?
While Intel Corp. said today it will be laying off 1,000 managerial positions worldwide, no layoffs at the Rio Rancho facility have been announced to date. Intel’s Rio Rancho spokeswoman Liz Shipley wouldn’t disclose or speculate on how many layoffs, if any, the Rio Rancho facility would see as a result of the company’s decision.
UPDATE: Intel says Rio Rancho plant will experience layoffs
Another, short, article from the Observer.