11:51am

Thu July 26, 2012
Business

GlobalFoundries announces $2.3 billion expansion

The massive GlobalFoundries computer chip manufacturing plant outside of Albany will soon grow even larger.

The company announced an additional $2.3 billion investment at its Malta site earlier this week.

The plans call for an expansion of the cleanroom space where the company builds 300 millimeter computer chip wafers. The chips are used in everything from computers, to cell phones, and cars.

This investment will add to the initial  $4.6 billion price tag of the plant, known as Fab 8.

Customer demand for the wafers is the driving force behind the expansion.

“This expansion will add an additional 90,000 square feet bringing it up to a total of 300,000 square feet, which is equivalent to about six American football fields," says Jessica Kerley, a spokeswoman for GlobalFoundries.

The latest investment is welcome news to New York State taxpayers; GlobalFoundries received an unprecedented $1.4 billion state tax incentive package to construct Fab 8.

The plant began producing chips this January. Nearly 1,500 people already work at the Malta site, and GlobalFoundries is expecting to hire at least another 300 people by the end of the year.

About half of the company's workforce are either international recruits or people from other parts of the U.S., but Kerley says GlobalFoundries is committed to hiring more local workers.

"We need more support in all functions. Technicians ... engineers, [and] support functions for HR. There's going to a lot of positions available," says Kerley.

It's no surprise that the company has been inundated with resumes. At a local job fair earlier this year, about 1,500 people turned out for 300 open positions.