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Intel will close Washington site

Mayor confirms he's been informed of closure; site has 350 employees.


Intel officials have begun the process of site consolidations, part of a massive restructuring of the company announced last week.

The Oregonian reported Monday that Intel’s location in DuPont, Wash., will close. DuPont Mayor Michael Courts confirmed that information to the Hillsboro Tribune via email Monday afternoon. “Intel has informed us (when asked directly) that the DuPont facility will close. It will affect around 350 employees,” he wrote.

“We do not have a specific timeline for the closure or layoffs,” Courts added.

Intel's DuPont Development Center focuses on “engineering research and product development, with an emphasis on powerful and efficient technology platforms for business,” according to Intel’s website. “Engineers in DuPont also help design chipsets for servers, power and thermal solutions, and diagnostic tools used in testing components and computer systems prior to commercial release,” the website says.

DuPont, a city of about 9,300 is between Olympia and Tacoma and directly west of Joint Base Lewis McChord. Intel has one other site in Washington, RidgePointe in Bellevue, just east of Seattle. Intel’s website indicates the company employs a total of around 1,000 people in Washington.

Layoffs apparently started Monday morning, with posts comparing severance packages lighting up layoffs.com, a forum that allows anonymous posting.

Intel Corp. announced April 19 it expects to cut about 12,000 jobs worldwide this year and into 2017 as part of a restructuring. Intel is Oregon's largest private employer, with nearly 19,500 jobs on five Washington County campuses. The Santa Clara, Calif., company has not announced how many jobs will be cut in Oregon, and Northwest Region Communications Manager Chelsea Hossaini declined to comment on when layoffs might begin or how many layoffs would happen in Washington County.

According to the April 19 announcement, Intel will intensify its focus in high-growth areas — like the Internet of Things — where it is positioned for long-term leadership, customer value and growth, while making the company more efficient and profitable.

The company expects to save about $1.4 billion by mid-2017 through the restructuring, after a one-time charge of $1.2 billion in the second quarter. The company said about 11 percent of its employees would be affected, through a combination of voluntary and involuntary departures.

Major layoffs are not a new phenomenon to Intel. The company went through a series a big cutbacks in 1998, when the company reduced its workforce by 3,000 employees, or about 5 percent of its workforce at the time. Company officials cited a slowdown in sales and drop in computer and processor prices as the need for layoffs at that time.

In 2006-07, the company made another round of cutbacks during what then-Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini categorized as a "restructure, repurpose, and resize.” Those cuts affected 10,500 employees, or about 10 percent of its workforce.

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