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Intel RR owes for low NM hiring rate

intelowesRIO RANCHO – Intel Corp. hired 24 employees at its Rio Rancho plant in 2013, six of whom lived in New Mexico, and will have to pay Sandoval County for not having enough state residents among its new hires under a 1995 agreement.

Since 2000, the company has hired, on average, slightly less than 150 workers per year. Fewer than 2,800 now work at the local plant, following last year’s redeployment of 400 employees, according to a recent Intel report and spokeswoman Natasha Martell Jackson.

The industrial revenue bond agreement between Intel and the county, which the parties renewed in 2004, requires Intel to pay the county $100,000 for each year New Mexico residents comprise less than 60 percent of individuals hired that year.

Liz Shipley, government affairs manager for Intel in the Southwest, submitted the company’s 2013 annual report to Sandoval County last month. Hiring figures in the report indicated Intel last met the 60 percent goal in 2010.

When the county receives those payments from Intel, which happened five times in the last decade, it funds school-to-work initiatives. The money is split among the Bernalillo, Cuba, Jemez Valley and Rio Rancho school districts.

Martell Jackson said in an email the two-dozen individuals hired last year had highly technical and specialized skills. The company no longer has a local focus of developing specialized degrees but promotes education in other ways.

Between 1995 and 1997, Intel added at least 1,000 individuals to its local workforce annually. At its peak, the company employed at least 7,000 in Rio Rancho, according to an August 2009 Bureau of Business and Economic Research report.

Intel no longer looks to CNM for future employees but maintains a presence on the CNM Foundation board.

“Our role has been to support overall strategy, engagement and support of students to help foster retention and graduation of students in New Mexico,” Martell Jackson wrote.

The hiring agreement between Intel and the county expires in 2019 after 25 years.

“Intel’s New Mexico site is a vital part of the company’s 300mm global manufacturing network and will continue to produce some of Intel’s most popular products on the market,” Martell Jackson wrote.