Sometimes, the best way to get intel about Intel is take in a NAIOP Rio Rancho Roundtable meeting.
Typically, Intel — celebrating its 40th year in Sandoval County in 2020 — is close-lipped about what’s going on within its massive plant, including its payroll and projects.
But a few dozen Roundtable attendees at Presbyterian Rust Medical Center on Thursday morning heard a little from Erika Edgerly, Intel’s New Mexico government affairs manager.
“We’re a very quiet, conservative company,” she said, but was proud of the investment in the local community, not only in terms of grants, donations and sponsorships, but also in terms of volunteer hours given back by its employees.
“New Mexico’s a phenomenal place to recruit from,” Edgerly, a native New Mexican, said.
She said it’s also a great place to recruit to, mentioning efforts from Rio Rancho Public Schools and others to attract potential Intel employees here. She said Intel Rio Rancho is aiming at a force of 1,200 employees and 62 percent of its employees have been hired locally since 1995.
“Building a better world is our business,” is the company’s motto, and Edgerly said environmental sustainability, supply chain responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and social impact are factors in its ultimate decisions.
Edgerly said that although the Intel plant in Oregon was the lone site developing new technology, the Rio Rancho plant has its own developmental team, with three “aims”: memory, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. There also is a focus on silicon photonics —”moving data through light,” rather than copper wire, she said.
With all that in mind, she said potential job-seekers perusing the help-wanted section on the Intel website would note that “higher-qualified” workers are sought.
Dove-tailing with the Intel presentation was Ideum Executive Producer Hugh McDonald’s talk on what the Corrales firm has been doing since moving from San Francisco in 2005.
Museums, showrooms, boardrooms, aquariums and zoos, including the Albuquerque BioPark, have purchased Ideum’s multi-touch tables and immersive video walls.
“We’ve worked with five Smithsonians,” McDonald said.
He added that all the electronics at the new penguin exhibit at the BioPark were fashioned by Ideum, basically “digital storytellers.” Ideum also has touch tables at the World War II Museum in Louisiana; a dinosaur museum in Fort Worth, Texas; a New Orleans museum; and Hoover Dam.
“We love working around the world,” McDonald added, noting Ideum touch tables can be found in 40 countries.
The company donates about one touch table a month and, he noted, has “a strong and robust intern program.”
The company, with 50 employees, recently added 5,500 square feet for a new fabrication studio. It is about to deliver its largest product to date: a 5,000-pound marble table to an engineering company’s board office, McDonald said.
The usual “intel” was at the meeting, too: Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull touted his Mayor’s Gala and First Ladys After Party on Oct. 18 at Santa Ana Star Casino Hotel and The Stage, respectively. Hull also talked about his hopes for a successful “Rally in the Desert,” a huge clean-up of illegal dumpsites on the mesa, set for Saturday.
The next NAIOP Rio Rancho Roundtable meeting, set for Oct. 3, will feature Paseo del Volcan and “The Road Ahead.”