By: Emily Smith, Intel Ohio Public Affairs Director
This blog was posted on behalf of Emily Smith, Intel Ohio Public Affairs Director. Emily leads Intel’s community engagement, local government affairs and communication efforts to support Intel’s planned investment in the great state of Ohio.
When Intel first announced its monumental investment in Ohio, we didn’t yet know who would lead our operations for the new site; in fact, I started working for Intel in April. As a lifelong Ohioan, I’m proud that our history as a manufacturing powerhouse along with our incredible people and robust infrastructure has made our beautiful state an ideal location for Intel’s most advanced manufacturing facility in the world.
Although the two world-class semiconductor fabs will be built in central Ohio, the $20 billion investment will have an incredible economic impact benefiting the entire buckeye state and will help geographically rebalance the global semiconductor value chain. Ohio will be a national leader for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and Intel’s Jim Evers will be at the helm of the Silicon Heartland.
In the short time I’ve worked with him, it’s been wonderful getting to know and partner with Jim, who will manage our Ohio factories. He joins the Intel Ohio team from Arizona, where he has led Intel’s high-volume manufacturing operations for several years. In addition to his innovative mindset and strong work ethic, Jim also leads with a service heart. In this Q&A, I hope you enjoy getting to know Jim as much as I have!
Emily Smith: Jim, tell us about yourself and how did you end up at Intel?
Jim Evers: I always like to tell people I’m living the American dream. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, the son of parents who migrated from Indonesia to the Netherlands to the U.S. I spent two years at Mesa Community College then went to Arizona State University to get an Electrical Engineering Degree. In my last year I started as an operator at Intel’s Assembly Test operation. When I graduated, it was perfect timing as I started in the first Fab at Intel’s Ocotillo campus, which is focused on high-volume manufacturing. Over the last two decades, I’ve raised my family and continued to grow my scope and expertise with Intel, ultimately leading the Fab I first joined all those years ago.
I feel lucky to be able to wake up every day and know that I’m leading an organization of incredible people making the technology we all depend on for everyday life.
ES: Why did you decide to move from Arizona to Ohio?
JE: The hardest part of my decision was leaving the people. The Ocotillo team have become my Intel family. The easy part of the decision was to see how big of an impact I can contribute to the mission to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the U.S.. I really believe in Intel’s IDM 2.0 strategy to the point I'm moving to Ohio to startup Intel’s first greenfield location in 40 years. I stand in humility for such a great opportunity. I love what we’ve been able to build in Arizona, and I’m incredibly excited about being able to build from the ground up and bring Intel to Ohio. Also, my kids are grown – they’re both in college – which made the decision easier too. As my daughter told me, it’s just a quick 4-hour flight.
ES: What’s your impression of Ohio so far?
JE: My wife and I flew out to visit during spring break this year and loved the area and everything Ohio has to offer. I’ve heard that autumn is even more charming than spring and we’ll fall in love even more. And I can tell the people are the best part. We found a lot of warmth and friendliness and we know we will fit right in. I’m trading cacti for buckeye!
ES: What do you think your biggest challenges will be in leading Intel’s new Ohio site?
JE: Aside from getting used to the cold weather, I want to make sure Intel does right by the community. I’m going to make sure that as we grow, we do so in a way that respects the history of this rural community. As we bring our Intel culture to Ohio it must have a unique Ohio identity. Building a fab takes time, and I hope Congress passes the CHIPS Act soon to help us go bigger and faster in building our new Ohio site. Lastly, anyone with $20B can build a fab (LOL) but it is the people that make the difference. We are going to need a lot of new talent to be successful, and I have a vision of using this hiring opportunity to be able to support Intel’s corporate responsibility goals.
ES: What are you most excited about?
JE: My wife and I are excited to experience the changing seasons, explore the state and all of the parks and museums, and of course, decide which sports teams we’ll be rooting for. From an Intel perspective, I’ve known Intel for a long time, but I’ll be new to Ohio. I’m excited to start building my team in Ohio – I’ve heard amazing things about Ohio’s talent. We look so forward to being a part of the community. I’ll be very curious to see how Ohio shapes Intel’s culture – it’s going to be amazing!
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