AMD adresses business chamber

In an effort to answer some questions that have accompanied the announcement that AMD will be building a $4.5 billion manufacturing facility in Malta, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce hosted representatives of the chipmaker and Luther Forest Technology Campus, where the factory will be located, on Friday, Oct. 10 at the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn.

The newly formed Foundry Company will actually be taking over the construction and operation of the chip fab. The company is a joint enterprise between AMD and the Abu Dhabi Advanced Technology Investment Company, who will supply $2.1 billion, with the possibility of more investments down the road.

Despite the fact ATIC is investing the most money into Foundry, AMD's Manager of Global Community Affairs Ward Tisdale told a packed room on Friday that the board of directors will be evenly split between the two companies. In addition, AMD Senior Vice President Doug Grose will be Foundry's CEO, and AMD Chairman Hector Ruiz will make a move to chair Foundry.

Other faces that Capital District residents have become familiar with, such as spokesman Travis Bullard and Steve Groseclose, director of global environmental, health and safety, will make the move to Foundry.

But the jobs on everyone's mind are the 1,465 positions AMD said will be created when the fab is fully operation in 2012. According to Tisdale, most of those jobs will eventually be filled by local talents.

Over time, most of the workers, if not all, will be from the local community, said Tisdale. The plant would most likely be staffed by transfers from AMD's Dresden, Germany fab facilities when it first opens, however. As local residents learn the proper skills, their employment will be ramped up.

It is estimated that 200 to 300 jobs will be engineering-related, and will require an appropriate degree. Somewhere between 300 and 500 jobs will be fab technicians, who will need specialized training. Tisdale said the chipmaker has been in discussions with Hudson Valley Community College to create appropriate programs. Another approximately 200 jobs will be administrative and management positions.

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