Intel Plans To Expand In Oregon, Arizona

Computer chip maker Intel is generating up to 1,000 new permanent jobs, and as many as 8,000 construction jobs. Intel will build a new semiconductor plant in Oregon and upgrade four existing plants in Oregon and Arizona.

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Computer chip maker Intel says it will build a new semiconductor plant in Oregon and it's going to upgrade four existing plants there and in Arizona.

As NPR's Ted Robbins reports, the work is expected to create up to 1,000 permanent jobs and as many as 8,000 construction jobs in states with high unemployment.

TED ROBBINS: Intel will upgrade two fabrication plants in Chandler, Arizona south of Phoenix and two plants in Hillsboro, Oregon, near Portland. The company will also build a new plant in Hillsboro. The facilities will produce Intel's smaller and faster next-generation chips. The construction jobs are welcome news for the hard-hit building trades. The new permanent manufacturing jobs will also help two states with unemployment rates higher than most. Arizona's is at 9.7 percent, Oregon's is at 10.6.

Intel makes three-quarters of its revenue overseas. But three-quarters of the people who make its chips are in the U.S. Analysts say the company would not save much money by moving chip factories overseas.

Intel vice president Brian Kryzanich says the company prefers to build on its existing infrastructure in the U.S.

Mr. BRIAN KRYZANICH (Vice President, Intel): It's a great asset both from a hardware standpoint but also the employees that are highly skilled, and we're going to utilize that to the best we can.

ROBBINS: Intel is Oregon's largest private employer, with roughly 15,000 workers. It employs almost 10,000 people in Arizona.

Ted Robbins, NPR News, Tucson.

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