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Part 3 of the megafactory for making microprocessors is finally open for business, and Ronler Acres gets a rebrand.

Intel Corp. officially opened the third part of its chip fab in Washington County on Monday, April 11, renaming the campus Gordon Moore Park at Ronler Acres, after the famous cofounder.

The $3 billion expansion brought out elected officials keen to bask in the glow of good news, as the site is expected to secure high-paying jobs and strong income tax revenues for decades to come. Governor Kate Brown, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden all made speeches praising the company and their own efforts to subsidize the U.S. semiconductor industry by $52 billion. Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said he hopes the CHIPS Act will pass by Memorial Day.

Intel designs its new chips and the process for making them in Oregon, then builds cookie-cutter fabs in places such as Arizona and Israel, and soon Ohio. Intel employs 22,000 people in Oregon and added 3,500 more in 2021, 2,000 of whom were production line workers known as semiconductor technicians.

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Intel Corp. officially opened the third part of its chip fab in Washington County on Monday, and renamed the campus Gordon Moore Park at Ronler Acres, after the famous cofounder.

Gelsinger went on to reassure Oregonians the state is the hub of manufacturing, and would continue to be. He said Gordon Moore Park is the headquarters of Intel's global Technology Development organization.

The team of about 10,000 employees attempt to uphold Moore's Law, which says the number of transistors that fit in a space doubles every 18 months, leading to faster computers.

Mod3 increases the campus's clean room space by 270,000 square feet. Gelsinger waxed nostalgic about how Intel's first Oregon fab cost $7 million, while the company has spent $52 billion on factories in Oregon. Intel has over 7 million hours of construction trade labor, employing over 3,000 electricians, pipe fitters, welders and other skilled labor.

Dr. Ann B. Kelleher, Intel's executive vice president and general manager of Technology Development, explained that they have about 10,000 employees in the Moore Building. "(They are) working on research and development and manufacturing. That spans the skills of manufacturing technician to process engineer to research scientist, as well as a myriad of other skills among our employees."

COURTESY: INTEL CORP - CEO Pat Gelsinger went on to reassure Oregonians that this is the hub of manufacturing, and would continue to be. He said Gordon Moore Park is the headquarters of Intel's global Technology Development organization.

Quick Start

Intel is keen to hire the next generation of fab workers and to draw upon a wider pool of candidates who may not have known they could ever work in a clean room. Chief People Officer Christy Pambianchi emphasized the value of the plant for local workforce development. Intel piloted an accelerator program called Quick Start in Arizona and is bringing it to Oregon in Fall 2022. It will create more semiconductor technicians.

In Arizona, Intel works with Mesa Community College, which offers an accelerated two-week program to prepare students for a career as a semiconductor technician with hands-on learning from industry-experienced Intel employees as instructors.

COURTESY PHOTO: INTEL CORP - An Intel clean room in Chandler, Arizona. The white buckets on ceiling rails move silicon around the plant.

After taking a series of 10 four-hour classes, in a school room with state-of-the-art tools inside the fab, students will earn an industry-recognized certification, three hours of college credit towards an associate degree and a small tuition stipend. Students will then have an opportunity to interview with Intel for full-time positions with benefits.

Pambianchi also announced Intel is teaming up with industry stakeholders to address shortages in both semiconductor and advanced manufacturing sectors with the first registered youth apprenticeship program in Oregon.

They will enroll 10 to 30 high school students for placement into manufacturing positions. The apprenticeship is being led by the Hillsboro School District, the city of Hillsboro and the Hillsboro manufacturing workforce partnership, Jobs for the Future.


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