KLA-Tencor Corporation (Nasdaq: KLAC) has opened a new center in Yokne'am, in addition to its R&D, production, and sales center in Migdal Ha'Emek in the lower Galilee. The company has been growing steadily and hiring in Israel in recent years.
KLA-Tencor Israel president Dr. Ami Appelbaum said, "We can't find the number of people we need in the north, so we wanted to open a center nearer central Israel."
Yokne'am is at the current northern terminus of Road 6 (the Cross-Israel Highway). The company believes that the location in Yokne'am will attract employees from central Israel, while still near to the company's offices in Migdal Ha'Emek.
KLA-Tencor, which has a market cap of $7.5 billion, is a global producer of automated solutions for the semiconductor production lines. In the past few years, the semiconductor industry has seen a massive jump in technology and production. New fabs for next-generation processors cost $4-6 billion to build and need highly skilled workers. Appelbaum says that it does not want fresh graduates for its new center, but "experienced and mature processor people in their 40s".
The new center will operate under KLA-Tencor's optical metrology division. It will initially have 20 employees, and the company hopes to hire scores more over the coming year.
Over the past two years, KLA-Tencor Israel has expanded its workforce 50% to 450 employees. Domestic sales total billions of shekels.
During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, when Hizbullah rockets were landing in the Galilee, KLA-Tencor moved much of its optical metrology operations to Singapore. Since then, KLA-Tencor Israel's management succeeded in proving that its operations were more efficient and better priced, and was able to keep the bulk of the division in the country. KLA-Tencor CEO Richard Wallace reflected this, when he told "Globes" in an interview two years ago, "There is nothing preventing us from growing in Israel."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 26, 2012
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