GlobalFoundries clears Malta hurdle

Posted at: 08/19/2013 11:47 PM
Updated at: 08/19/2013 11:49 PM
By: Dan Levy

MALTA - The Malta town board Monday night gave a thumbs up for GlobalFoundries to build a second chip manufacturing plant on their Luther Forest Technology Park campus. The decision creates the potential for more than 6,700 hundreds jobs in that community at the project's completion.

Since the project began four years ago, 2,100 jobs have landed in Luther Forest. AFter Monday night's unanimous decision by the Malta town board, GlobalFoundries, if they choose, can build a second chip manufacturing plant on the site.

"If we were to include 8.2, then we would at the full build out, we'd be looking at somewhere around 6,700 direct jobs for GlobalFoundries," said company spokesman Travis Bullard.

The cost of the project would be right around $15 billion and according to Bullard, it would create in excess of 10,000 construction jobs.

"They're planning on being there for a long time and as long as we have the electronics age of the 21st century, we're going to need chips and we're going to need companies like GlobalFoundries," said Malta Supervisor Paul Sausville.

Not everyone who showed up at Monday's public hearing was comfortable with the change in the community.

"You wait a half an hour for a three minute ride," said Mike Smith, a Malta resident. "Why do people want to live like this?"

Carol Henry sits on the Luther Forest Technology Park Community Response Board, a group of Malta residents that's been overseeing the project since its inception.

"For a lot of people, I think they are pleased with what's happening here because they are able to keep their families in this area and not have to move away to find future employment," Henry says.

For Supervisor Sausville, the promise of good paying jobs for his children and grandchildren means that GlobalFoundries expansion was a necessary decision to be made.

"Change is good," Sausville says, "We just have to make sure at the end of the day, that our quality doesn't sacrifice the one important thing to us and that's the small town charm that we have and our community feeling," Sausville asserts.

Monday's decision allows GlobalFoundries to move forward and build a second manufacturing plant. For the record, the company has not yet decided to do that. A company spokesman says, at this point, they don't have a specific timeline to make the decision.