Production slump could mean job cuts at Intel


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – There are new fears that jobs at a big metro employer could be in jeopardy.

Wednesday an Intel official said the Rio Rancho plant has lost out on a big project and if they don’t land another one, production may slow down.

Intel has already cut hundreds of jobs over the past year. And Wednesday’s news comes at a time when HP, another big employer in Rio Rancho, could also be on the verge of more job cuts.

Sandoval County Commissioner Orlando Lucero says the impact of losing more jobs from company’s like Intel could be a big blow to Rio Rancho.

According to Albuquerque Business First, Intel GM Kirby Jefferson said the Rio Rancho plant has to land the whale or next big company investment.

Rio Rancho has already lost out on the opportunity to manufacture the next-generation chip.

The business website quoted Kirby as saying, “in two years our volumes will roll off, it’s not a cliff, but they will roll off.”

Some are wondering if that could mean more layoffs.

“It’s scary that HP cut down on their force and Intel at the same time that would be pretty scary,” Lucero said.

Lucero is talking about Hewlett-Packard’s Rio Rancho plant.

Just last week, Hewlett-Packard announced it’s trimming its workforce again, up to 16,000 employees.

No word, yet, if Rio Rancho’s HP plant of only about 700 employees, will be part of the layoffs but it’s fallen victim to the last few rounds of cuts.

Rio Rancho and the state gave HP massive incentives in return it had to keep a certain number of employees on staff.

That hasn’t happened, so HP has had to pay up.

The same goes for Intel.

Lucero says it has had to pay the county for not keeping its promised number of staff for years.

Hundreds of jobs have been cut in the past year.

Lucero is holding out hope that Rio Rancho’s plant will cast a big net to secure that whale.

While Intel wouldn’t speculate on the production slowing down they did acknowledge global competitors will impact Rio Rancho’s plant.

They did say Rio Rancho’s plant will continue to produce some of the company’s most popular products.

Commissioner Lucero says he plans to work with the Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Department, to see if Sandoval County can work with Intel on more incentives to bring more business here.

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