Intel’s renewed commitment to area a huge boost - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

Intel’s renewed commitment to area a huge boost

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Jay Tibshraeny is mayor of Chandler.

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 1:51 pm | Updated: 3:40 pm, Sat Dec 22, 2012.

Intel's announcement last week that it will invest an additional $5 billion at its Chandler campus only solidifies its ongoing commitment to our state and community. And it could not have come at a better time.

Over the past several months I have been meeting with residents and business leaders. Jobs, or lack of them, were often the topic of conversation. With nearly 10,000 employees, Intel is by far the city's largest employer. This new expansion will add more than 1,000 permanent manufacturing jobs as well as thousands of temporary construction jobs, aiding a struggling industry here in the state.

To be called Fab 42, this will be the largest and most advanced high-volume semiconductor manufacturing facility in the world. It will be constructed at the Intel Ocotillo campus where Intel owns close to a square mile of land. Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini said, "The transistors and chips it will produce will be the most dynamic platform for innovation that our company has ever created. Together they will enable more capable computers, the most advanced consumer electronics and mobile devices, the brains inside the next generation of robotics, and thousands of other applications that have yet to be invented." And Chandler will lay the foundation for that exciting technology.

And the news comes on the heels of last year's announcement that Intel is retrofitting two of its established Chandler-based chip making plants - another multi-billion dollar investment. Chandler has partnered with Intel for more than three decades, starting with its first fabrication plant in west Chandler. That facility is now home to a number of Intel's research and development programs.

I appreciate Intel's continued trust in Chandler, and all that we have to offer as a place to do business and a place to grow. The new jobs will go a long way to jump start the economy and bring us out of the Great Recession.

But beyond the bricks and mortar, announcements like this send a very strong ripple effect throughout the community and the region. There is a fairly large cluster of firms that supply Intel with its parts and supplies. At last count, nearly four dozen companies are located here in Chandler, with many more spread across the Valley and the state.

These announcements also cause a trickle-down effect as it has been calculated that three to four additional jobs are added to the economy for every new Intel job created. That is crucial in times like this, because these jobs are vital if we are to emerge from the current economic storm. And while the people obtaining these jobs may not all be local, as Intel is a global company, they will buy homes here, shop here and will be active in the community.

That is because, as we have said in the past, Intel's contributions to the community go beyond the billions of dollars invested in capital. Intel and its employees create a tremendous asset as a corporate neighbor. They contribute hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours and the company invests heavily in Arizona education, understanding that today's students will comprise its future workforce.

I look forward to the development of Intel's new leading-edge technologies in Chandler, and our continued relationship with a great partner.

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Jay Tibshraeny is the mayor of Chandler

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