Intel report shows increase in NM hiring, capital investment

IMAGE COURTESY INTEL CORP. A pair of Intel Rio Rancho employees don clean room gear prior to getting to work in the file image from the chip giant’s Rio Rancho plant web page. The company’s just released annual report on the local operations outlined the $135 million put into the operation last year.

RIO RANCHO – Intel’s annual report to Sandoval County shows the chip giant has invested over $135 million in its local manufacturing plant in 2018, an increase over $88 million from the year prior.

Intel spokeswoman Linda Qian said the company is very proud of the continued investments it has made in its New Mexico facility.

“Since we first established operations here in 1980, (those operations) have been a really critical part of our global technology development and manufacturing network,” she said.

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Qian confirmed that Intel is still in the process of hiring for many roles, all posted at intel.com/nmjobs.

The Intel annual report — released in keeping with the company’s industrial revenue bond lease agreement — said the company paid Sandoval County $9.15 million in fiscal year 2018, per its IRB agreement, which was made with the county in 2004. It also paid almost $588,000 in property tax.

The Journal reported in September that Intel’s Sandoval County plant was investing in and pursuing technology development to create new products as part of the company’s efforts to diversify its markets beyond its traditional focus on semiconductor chips for computer processing.

Intel spent just over $200 million with New Mexico-based organizations in 2018 and hired 168 new employees, 33 percent of whom came from New Mexico, according to the report.

Since 1995, 62 percent of Intel’s’ new hires at the Rio Rancho plant have been New Mexico residents, according to the report.

Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block said Intel’s future looked bleak when it downsized 2,000 jobs between 2013 and 2016.

“After I was elected, along with (Chairman) Dave Heil, we’ve worked a lot with Intel, with the IRB to incentivize them to start hiring more,” Block said. “Thanks to some technological breakthroughs and advances, Intel is reinvesting back into our community and into their plant.”

Intel will soon host two job fairs in New Mexico, one at Central New Mexico Community College main campus Monday and another at Kirtland Air Force Base on May 3.

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