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Senator calls on chip fab to hold job fair

A big argument from proponents of bringing a $4.2 billion microchip manufacturing facility to Malta is that it will create jobs for local residents. One state lawmaker would like some more assurances that will be the case, though.

Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, contacted chipmaker GlobalFoundries on Wednesday, May 20, with a petition to hold a job information fair regarding the upcoming facility, which the company hopes to have running in 2011 with a staff of 1,200, in addition to the labor needed for construction.

According to Travis Bullard, a spokesman for GlobalFoundries, more details about the company's hiring plans for the facility (known as Fab 2) will develop as the project moves closer to becoming operational, and local residents can look forward to a variety of programs like job fairs, workshops and informational sessions.

"This area's highly skilled and educated workforce is one of the key reasons we decided to locate this facility in New York, and we anticipate that most of our new workforce for Fab 2 will come from the local area," said Bullard.

According to GlobalFoundries, once built and running, the fab's staffing will be approximately 60 percent fab technicians (requiring at least an appropriate two-year degree), 30 percent engineers (requiring a four-year degree), 5 percent management and 5 percent administrative.

McDonald said he would like more details of what skills those jobs will require to be made known, so that residents can begin preparing to become eligible candidates. He says the promise of the chip fab is a shining star in troubled times, and of special interest to those worried about their jobs now.

"People are nervous, and with the exciting news about the technology park, people would love an opportunity to work there," said McDonald. "They would like to be able to prepare themselves."

A job fair early on in the process would also give the local construction industry a chance at representation, and open up the relationship between vendors who will service the factory and its workers in the future.

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