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Rio Rancho Intel plant adding 300 jobs

Intel’s manufacturing plant in Rio Rancho. (Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Technology giant Intel Corp. said Tuesday it plans to add 300 jobs at its Rio Rancho manufacturing plant this year, a combination of local hires and relocations of out-of-state employees to New Mexico.

Intel attributed the decision to “Rio Rancho’s experienced workforce as well as the state’s overall business climate,” according to a news release.

“The Rio Rancho site continues to be an important part of Intel’s global manufacturing network, and is manufacturing semiconductor products that are critical to Intel’s ability to secure, power and connect billions of devices and the infrastructure of the smart, connected world,” said Intel Rio Rancho Site Manager Katie Prouty in a statement.

Intel currently employs about 1,200 individuals at its Rio Rancho facility.

Asked about average salary for the 300 new positions, Intel spokeswoman Linda Qian said in an email that the average salary of all current positions at the Rio Rancho plant is $145,000 annually.

In the release, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called the announcement a “significant positive investment made in a New Mexico community.”

“My administration’s business-friendly posture has paid dividends already, and will continue to build momentum,” said Lujan Grisham.

Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia J. Keyes noted that the Intel announcement comes on the heels of decisions by Union Pacific to expand in Santa Teresa and Virgin Galactic to move 100 employees to Spaceport America.

The announcement marks the second time Intel’s local plant has expanded in recent months.

In September, the company announced it would hire 100 people after some research and development work was transferred to Rio Rancho. Prior to that, the head count at the facility had declined for years, from about 3,300 employees in 2013 to around 1,100 last year before the September announcement.

The Intel plant manufactures and tests tech products for mobile, desktop, server and workstation computing at its Fab 11X manufacturing complex in Rio Rancho. Fab 11X includes 400,000 square feet of clean room space, making it the largest clean room operated by Intel globally and one of the largest in the world, according to the Intel website.

Among the products being developed or manufactured at the Rio Rancho plant, according to the company: data transfer technology Silicon Photonics, memory technologies 3D Xpoint and Optane, and storage technology NAND pathfinding.