Intel facility can mean additional business for Stark County companies – Canton Repository

CANTON – Intel Corp. has begun construction in New Albany of what could become the company’s largest manufacturing site in the world.

Even though it’s a two-hour drive, businesses in Stark County can expect to see benefits from the $20 billion project outside Columbus. That’s because it will be comparable to building a city, said Allen Thompson, vice president of U.S. government relations for Intel.

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“There’s going to be a lot of different opportunities this investment creates,” Thompson said Wednesday during a program at the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts. Thompson was speaker for the monthly Lunch and Learn program offered by the Stark County Minority Business Association.

Thompson told a full house in the Cable Recital Hall that Intel had decided by late fall of 2020 that it would build in Ohio. The ceremonial groundbreaking for the facility occurred in early September and that event showed Thompson what the project means to the region.

The initial phase calls for two semiconductor plants in New Albany. It is expected to reach six, and possibly eight production facilities, Thompson said. Intel wants to staff the facilities will talented workers, so it’s investing $50 million to partner with schools around Ohio to prepare employees.

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Businesses around the state also will have an opportunity to work with Intel, Thompson said. The corporation is spending money with more minority-owned businesses, and working with a diverse set of contractors and subcontractors, he said.

Companies wanting to do business with Intel should do their research.

“Learn us. Know what we have available,” Thompson said.

As Intel builds, it’s anticipated that other companies — suppliers and vendors, as well as hotels and restaurants — will be building nearby.

“We’re about to build a city,” Thompson said.

Construction of the two initial facilities and installation of equipment will take roughly three years. Thompson said that if work proceeds on schedule, the first chips will be produced in 2026.

The facility in New Albany is Intel’s first new pure manufacturing facility that Intel has built in 40 years, Thompson said. Intel selected Ohio because CEO Patrick Gelsinger believed it was the place where the company could meet its goals, he said.

Wednesday’s program also included the graduation ceremony for the Minority Business Association’s second cohort in “Expanding Resources for All” (ERA) training program. The ERA 2022 class included 24 small business owners who completed workshops and worked with mentors in a 10-month program.

Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com On Twitter: @epritchardREP