Intel’s Kiryat Gat chip fabrication plant is undergoing an overhaul, and the company is looking for over 1,000 workers to outfit the site, the company said. Time is of the essence; the company needs to upgrade its facilities in order to refit the site for production of Intel’s new generation of processors, but due to a shortage of skilled workers, the company is spreading the word about open positions, and is willing to train new workers.
“We want to employ Israelis on all aspects of our upgraded plant, and especially residents of the south,” said an Intel spokesperson. “We are going all out to recruit welders, pipelayers, and other workers, as well as individuals who see themselves as building a career in these areas. Career paths are available for senior, experienced workers, as well as new, inexperienced workers.” Intel and the companies it contracts with, the spokesperson said, will pick up the costs of training.
The Intel upgrade project, which will enable the site to manufacture the next generation of computer chips, is set to cost $6 billion. Some 3,600 construction workers are currently involved in the project, and there is an immediate need for more skilled workers, especially welders.
A poll by the Career and Training Authority, a group sponsored by the Manufacturers Association, said that in 2011, 80 percent of manufacturers reported that they were having a hard time finding workers, and a third of those said that finding workers was “very difficult.” Only about a third of students study subjects such as electronics, HVAC, or nontechnology-related subjects that will get them a job in manufacturing; many more are needed, the Authority said.
Speaking to Yediot Achronot, manufacturers bemoaned a lack of workers, saying that many of those who did apply for jobs were not committed to their occupations as careers, and were only doing it as a temporary activity, often while they studied academic subjects in preparation for their “real” career. “It’s very hard to find workers,” said the owner of one kitchen design firm. “As the years go by the experienced workers are retiring, and replacing them has been very difficult. We have no choice but to convince older workers to stay on the job.”