Intel Israel -- which includes a billion dollar
manufacturing plant in Jerusalem, a two billion dollar plant
in Kiryat Gat, a research and development center in Haifa
and two smaller companies that Intel bought in 1999 -- is
Israel's largest exporter with total exports of over $2
billion. This is a big jump from the previous year when it
exported $810 million.
The company's new Kiryat Gat plant exported $1.3 billion,
and the Jerusalem plant and the Haifa development center
each exported $300 million. The DSPC and Dialogic plants
together accounted for the balance. PC processors were the
main item exported.
Altogether, 5,200 workers are employed in Intel Israel's
three major plants, and Intel Israel exported $400,000 per
worker. Intel said that the Kiryat Gat plant's exports
exceeded expectations, reaching $3.5 million a day.
Intel sources said that Intel International's investment in
Israel is currently estimated at $2.7 billion, with
government grants amounting to $800 million. The grants, the
largest ever given to a single company, were controversial
at the time, with some saying that such enormous sums could
be better spent otherwise. The good figures provide some
vindication for the investment, since at least so far the
company has performed at or better than expectations.
Intel's 2000 revenue was $33.7 billion.
Recently Intel also opened a new design center in Yakum,
just south of Netanya. In its other operations, the company
built its own facilities, but in Yakum it rented office
space to start up quickly. The center had recruited 17
workers when it opened, with plans to hire up to a total of
100. An Intel official said that Yakum operation was planned
as a dynamic place, and that "the 17 staff recruited so far
to work in Yakum were employed because they were highly
creative, out of the mainstream, and undisciplined." The
official said that Intel has plans to open additional
locations in the future.
The Yakum center is a departure from Intel's Development
Center in Haifa that originally opened in 1974 and now
employs some 1,400 workers. Intel chose to open a new center
rather than expand the existing one in order to have access
to an expanded pool of potential employees. Located between
Netanya and Tel Aviv, the new center in Yakum can draw from
all over the central region.
Intel is encouraged by the forecasts for a drop in high-tech
activity in the coming year, hoping that it will make it
easier for them to find talented workers.
The Yakum Center, which will be headed by Effi Klein, will
focus on developing chip sets for mobile computers. "The
rate of growth for mobile computers, which today is a $5
billion industry, is expected to be much higher than that of
desktop computers," explained an official. "The Yakum and
Haifa groups will be working alongside a . . . group in
Intel says that the Yakum Center has been designed to
encourage creative thought in a comfortable, rural work
environment. It is also designed to allow flexibility for
other workers based at Intel's other locations. A Netanya
resident based in Haifa, for example, should be able to work
from the Yakum center a few days each week. A similar
arrangement has been installed at Intel's Gush Tefen
operations in the Galilee.
This system has already been introduced in Intel's San
Francisco offices to ease the daily commute to the Silicon
Valley which is very difficult because of the congested
roads. Intel believes that this approach may spread in the
future since it is efficient and meets the needs of
employees and employers.