Intel plans to add 4,000 workers this year

Intel seeks 'permanent, highly skilled employees,' primarily for positions in research and development

Intel will hire 4,000 workers in the United States this year, primarily in product development and research and development, the company said on Friday.

The company seeks to hire "permanent, highly skilled employees," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during a speech in Hillsboro, Ore., where U.S. President Barack Obama toured a microprocessor factory. Intel currently has about 82,000 employees.

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Obama is currently visiting the West Coast as part of an effort to promote innovation to maintain U.S. competitiveness. Obama has met leaders of top IT companies, including Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg, as part of the tour.

"These new employees will focus on areas that span the exploration of new materials to create even smaller transistors, to products that we believe will transform the way that health care and education are delivered, to 'future technologies' that involve augmented reality and computers that can read minds, or at least anticipate your needs," Otellini said.

Intel also announced it would invest around $5 billion to build a chip plant in Chandler, Ariz. The plant will be dedicated to making chips for PCs, consumer electronics, and mobile devices, Intel said in a statement. Construction of the plant will begin in the middle of this year and should be completed in 2013, Intel said.

The $5 billion commitment is in addition to Intel's investment of between $6 billion and $8 billion to manufacture new chips for PCs, smartphones, consumer electronics, and embedded devices, which the company announced in October last year. Those funds will go toward building a plant in Oregon, and to upgrading factories to make chips using the new 22-nanometer process. Such chips would be faster and more power-efficient than the company's current PC chips made using the 32-nm process.

Intel at the time said the $6 billion to $8 billion investment would help create approximately 6,000 to 8,000 construction jobs in the United States during the construction phase, and would eventually create up to 1,000 highly skilled and high-wage manufacturing jobs.

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