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City reacts to Intel’s job cut announcement

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Comments go from concern to apathy

“Ouch.”

That’s what Jola Vanic said after learning about Intel’s announcement Friday that it is reducing its Rio Rancho workforce of 3,300 by 400 employees.

Vanic, a teller at U.S. Bank across the street from the chipmaker, declined to comment further. But hers was among the community reaction that ranged from concern to apathy to the Santa Clara, Calif., company’s decision to “redeploy” 400 employees to stay competitive in the computer, smartphones and tablets industry.

Rio Rancho resident Kordell Hughes said the loss of hundreds of plant employees concerns him, saying it would likely hit the city hard, especially as it attempts to provide police, fire and other essential services.

“I don’t know what that translates to in terms of economics,” he said, “but it’s not good news.”

Approached in a parking lot outside the Intel plant, two people who acknowledged they were employees declined to comment, and two other employees waiting at a stoplight just west of the plant waved a reporter away.

Across the street on the patio of the Starbucks, Joe Ferguson, a 15-month resident of Rio Rancho and formerly of Albuquerque, said, “Intel seems to have sparked all of what we have in Rio Rancho. It (the redeployment) will hurt, there’s no questions about it, not only the people who are losing their jobs, but the local economy as well.”

Sheila Smith of Corrales said she didn’t like the company when it first came on the scene because “it blocked out my view of the sky with its big building, but it has been good for Rio Rancho because it gives employment to local people.”

Delton Payne, who works at a Subway restaurant across the street from the plant, said, “We do get a lot of people who come here from Intel, but I doubt that it’ll have an impact, because we get a lot of business from the rest of Rio Rancho.”

Not immediately available for comment for this story were Mayor Tom Swisstack and Rio Rancho Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Debbi Moore.

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