Editor’s Note

This is the third in a three-part series looking at how Intel, the largest private commercial investment in Ohio’s history, will impact Knox County. Part I was Friday and Part II was Saturday.

MOUNT VERNON — The buzz around the announcement that Intel is heading to central Ohio has repercussions into Knox County.

Local officials in various sectors are beginning the process of understanding how the local community will be impacted by what is being touted as the largest private commercial investment in Ohio’s history.

Intel has said it plans to invest $20 billion in the site – with the potential for up to $100 billion over the next decade – creating an estimated 20,000 jobs (both direct and indirect) in the process.

It will be located 12 miles south of Centerburg and 21 miles south of Mount Vernon.

To that end, Jobs Ohio took a few local education representatives April 11 and 12 to Chandler, Arizona, to visit the Intel site there and speak with the site’s education partners. Central Ohio Technical College, Licking County Career Center, Columbus State and The Ohio State University were part of the delegation.

The delegation met with representatives from Arizona State University, Mesa Community College and East Valley Institute of Technology, which is similar to Ohio’s career centers, said COTC president John Berry, who went on the trip along with the COTC provost Eric Heiser.

It was the first chance for a set of local eyes to see an example of how Intel operates in another community.

Intel plans to support 3,000 high-tech jobs, with 70% of those being technicians, 25% engineers and 5% support. 

Berry said it afforded insight beyond job titles and workforce development logistics.

“It was a little bit of an epiphany for me,” Berry said of seeing the site in-person. “We saw the sheer size and scope of this operation, and it was incredible.”

Intel’s Arizona site has its own first responder network, water treatment plant, among other aspects not directly linked to chip building, which Berry said he sees as other potential job opportunities when the Ohio site is up and running.

“It’s like a small village,” Berry explained.

The trip to Arizona was also the first glimpse Berry had into how Intel’s vow to be good community partner looks in action. Berry took note of positive interactions with the Arizona site’s surrounding community, both community partners and geographic neighbors.

Specifically, Berry said he spoke with Intel representatives about their willingness to make accommodations to building facade and noise as needed for an adjacent retirement village.

“It’s one thing to talk about it,” Berry said of Intel’s vow to be a good community partner. “It’s another thing to actually demonstrate how you’re doing it.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *