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Local talent a 'fab' asset [Times Union, Albany, N.Y.]
[July 19, 2013]

Local talent a 'fab' asset [Times Union, Albany, N.Y.]

(Times Union (Albany, NY) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) July 19--COLONIE -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. -- the No. 1 competitor to GlobalFoundries -- is looking to hire local workers even though it has no computer chip manufacturing operations in the area.

TSMC, as it is known, is establishing significant operations at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering as part of the $4.8 billion Global 450 Consortium. Ramping up that program could be behind its hiring drive, which includes job fairs later this month in Colonie and East Fishkill in Dutchess County, where IBM has a computer chip factory.

However, none of the jobs currently listed in connection with the hiring events are located in New York state. Most are in Taiwan, while a smaller number are in San Jose, Calif., and Austin, Texas.


The two job fairs are scheduled for July 27 at the Albany Marriott in Colonie and July 28 at the Hyatt House in Fishkill. Both events go from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Regardless of where the TSMC jobs will be located, the company's desire to seek potential employees in the Capital Region and other parts of New York state shows just how far the local semiconductor industry has come in the region, and how hot the Albany area is on the computer chip manufacturing map, which in previous decades was dominated by places like Austin and San Jose. This past January, Samsung held a job fair in Saratoga Springs, even though the company's U.S. manufacturing is located in Austin. However, Samsung is also one of the five members of the G450C and may have been looking to fill those spots as well.

The Capital Region has been featured prominently in computer chip industry news publications and blogs in recent months and weeks as the world has tried to crack open the truth behind a top-secret local real estate search known as Project Azalea. The site search, being conducted by the consulting firm Deloitte, is for space to build a massive computer chip factory. Most theories about Project Azalea -- although none have ever been confirmed -- center around Apple's desire to own its own chip fab, with either TSMC or GlobalFoundries building the facility.

Since TSMC's only domestic manufacturing operation is outside Portland, Ore., many industry observers have said that building a new chip fab from scratch would be a major undertaking for TSMC that could take years, perhaps a decade.

However, GlobalFoundries already has a chip fab in Malta in Saratoga County and is planning a second one valued at $15 billion that could start operations within a few years.

Most likely, TSMC is taking advantage of the tremendous amount of semiconductor talent in the region and down at IBM in Dutchess County, where thousands of eligible workers reside -- many of them likely from Taiwan or looking to return to Texas or California.

lrulison@timesunion.com, 518-454-5504, @larryrulison ___ (c)2013 the Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) Visit the Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) at www.timesunion.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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