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Intel Arizona: Our United States Manufacturing Powerhouse

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Al ThompsonAl Thompson

Arizona is home to Intel’s U.S. manufacturing powerhouse. For more than 40 years, Arizona has been vital to Intel’s ability to create the world-changing technology we all depend on. Today, Intel Arizona has approximately 12,000 employees between its two campuses in Chandler and an annual economic impact of $8.6 billion, based on 2019 data. Intel has invested $30 billion in capital to support its operations in the state. Last September, we broke ground on two new leading-edge manufacturing facilities in Arizona. This $20 billion investment included advanced semiconductor manufacturing and new foundry capacity. In addition, Intel is building or expanding factories in Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon. 

According to our most recent economic impact report, for every Intel job in Arizona, close to five additional jobs are supported in the state. Investing in the expansion of the Chandler campus will further the ecosystem of innovation that Intel has helped to build in Arizona over the past four-plus decades. 

Legislation to invest $52 billion in U.S. manufacturing and chipmaking is currently working its way through Congress. Funding the CHIPS Act (S. 1260, H.R. 4521) is critical to bolstering America’s technological competitiveness and will help level the playing field for American companies by providing federal incentives to build new factories in the U.S. and invest in essential technology research and development.  

This is the second in a series of blogs where I am speaking with the factory managers of Intel’s major U.S. operations about our impact on state communities, workforce development and economy at large. I invite you to read my recent conversation with Zivit Katz-Tsameret, Vice President of Manufacturing and Operations and Factory Manager at Intel in Arizona. 

Zivit Katz-TsameretZivit Katz-Tsameret

Al Thompson: How did you come to work at Intel? For how long have you worked there? 

Zivit Katz-Tsameret: I have more than two decades of semiconductor manufacturing experience both in the U.S. and Israel. My focus has largely been on starting up new factories, new technologies, and on building organizations. I joined Intel in 1996 as a process engineer in Israel two days after graduating from engineering school. I then held management roles, and my career journey has taken me across the U.S. and around the world, with roles in New Mexico, Oregon, Israel and most recently, Arizona.  

AT: What does working at Intel mean to you? To your team? 

ZKT: I am inspired every day by Intel’s engineers and technicians that relentlessly identify solutions to problems and continuously improve results to drive Intel’s manufacturing leadership forward. Working with people, building the team, and managing the organization are the most fulfilling aspects of my job – and the most important part of manufacturing.  

Since moving to Arizona, I have made engaging and mentoring the next generation of female talent within Intel’s Arizona workforce a priority. In addition to sponsoring and funding an annual technical female leader forum, I also have had the privilege to establish and sponsor a mentoring circle program. The program, which began with a focus on mid-grade technical females, has since expanded to include underrepresented minorities which is an important focus for Intel’s manufacturing organization. The mentoring circle program has also become a way for new area managers to integrate and develop faster to drive results. 

Rallying around a unified mission and vision and creating an integrated and inclusive culture is what makes the organization ultimately successful. Semiconductor manufacturing is an ever-changing environment with many opportunities to be creative and do something meaningful, not just for Intel, but for the experiences and solutions that Intel’s technology empowers others to create. As one of four Intel factory managers in Arizona, I have a hand in every facet of the 24/7 manufacturing operations supported by thousands of Intel technicians, engineers and managers. 

AT: Arizona is known as Intel’s hub for high-volume manufacturing. What role do the microprocessors manufactured here play in the larger technology supply chain? 

ZKT: Arizona is Intel’s manufacturing powerhouse, an enabler to Pat’s IDM2.0 vision, and our operations in Arizona are vital to Intel’s ability to create the world-changing technology we all depend on.  

With Arizona being the home to Intel’s U.S. manufacturing, the ecosystem had been evolved to support and benefit from the proximity to the large operation. This is becoming even more real and tangible with the continuation of Intel growth in Arizona and more specifically with Intel breaking ground, last September, on two new leading-edge manufacturing facilities and the continual expansion of the Ocotillo site. This $20 billion investment includes advanced semiconductor manufacturing and new foundry capacity. This is expected to bring more businesses closer to the Intel operation in Arizona. Investing in the expansion of the Chandler campus will further the ecosystem of innovation that Intel has helped build in Arizona over the past four-plus decades. 

AT: How does Intel give back to the Arizona community? 

ZKT: Investing in our community is part of our corporate responsibility RISE strategy around the shared goal of creating a more responsible, inclusive and sustainable future enabled by our employees and technology. In Arizona, we are focused on addressing issues that will make our community a more vibrant place for everyone and we work with nonprofits and community leaders to realize the power of collective action. For example, Intel Arizona has partnered with YWCA Metro Phoenix on the Equity in STEAM initiative to advance women and people of color across STEAM careers and improve representation in STEAM throughout the state.  

I have the privilege to help support a unique Intel student program for college students in Arizona. Unlike a traditional summer internship, students in Intel’s program have the flexibility to participate in year-round opportunities within Intel’s manufacturing organization – everything from process engineering to chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, material science, and more. In this way, students are able to get a better feel for what it’s like to work in a high-tech manufacturing environment before graduating.  

AT: How does Intel promote sustainable manufacturing practices at its facilities? 

ZKT: At Intel, we’re committed to being a leader in sustainability through our 2030 RISE Strategy and Goals. We continually strive to improve our operations and minimize our impact on the environment. In our view, a commitment to sustainability requires a broad portfolio of efforts; we pursue new ways to reduce emissions, conserve energy, and invest in renewable energy, efficient building design, water conservation and restoration, and more.  

In support of our goal to achieve 100% renewable electricity use across our global operations, Intel purchases green power from utility suppliers and green attributes from multiple sources to meet 100% of our energy use in Arizona. In 2020, we also returned and restored approximately 95% of our Arizona freshwater use to our community and local watersheds through our water management practices and project investments.  

AT: Last year the company broke ground on two new factories in Arizona. How will this expansion impact the state’s overall economy and workforce? 

ZKT: On September24, 2021, Intel broke ground on a significant expansion of its semiconductor manufacturing capacity, beginning with a $20 billion investment to build two new Arizona factories, bringing Intel’s Ocotillo campus to a total of six factories. The expansion will provide 6,000+ direct jobs and will make the Arizona site Intel’s largest manufacturing site in the world. 

We believe current and future workforces need to reflect the makeup of this nation. Together with a broad range of stakeholders, we’re working to make careers in technology fully inclusive and expand digital readiness for everyone. We continued our partnership with Maricopa Community Colleges  to enable tens of thousands of students to land careers in high-tech fields through the first Intel-designed artificial intelligence (AI) associate degree program in the U.S. It has since expanded to the AI for Workforce Program in the U.S., which aims to reach all 50 U.S. states by 2030.   

Most recently, we announced a new semiconductor manufacturing Quick Start program at Mesa Community College (MCC) in partnership with Maricopa Community Colleges to support the growing semiconductor industry’s employment needs and welcome diverse talent into the technical workforce. The two-week program prepares students for a career as a semiconductor technician with hands-on learning from Intel employees. 

Learn more about Intel Arizona.