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Continuing Education for All Employees

Will Swope tells us how Intel adjusts to a constantly changing market by educating its employees.

Question: How do you keep your employees up to speed in a rapidly changing market?
Will:     In any given calendar year, 90% of our profits are created by products that were not in the market place 18 months ago.  So, we pretty much completely reinvent our product line every year.  Now, think about the mindset of an employee and think about the kind of creativity they have to be able to show, the innovation they have to show, the new processes they have to learn, whether they be on the assembly line, whether they be an engineer, whether they be in software, whether they are working on a supply chain.  Those products fundamentally change and our job is to build a loyal and productive workforce and build that on a worldwide basis.  For that to happen, they have to continue to be able to deal with the changes that we face in the marketplace.  And the combination, they also have to be willing to invest in themselves.  And we’ve been lucky enough to be able to create that.  It’s important to us because it’s been our heritage to focus on education, but you could have taken a different model.  McDonald’s works with the Ronald McDonald’s houses.  It’s important to them to be doing that.  So, it’s not that we think ours as any better or worse.  We think the focus for an individual company is very important.  Now, that said, a lot of the issues facing the world today are going to be solved, in our opinion, by better use of technology.  If we think about energy, if we think about communication, if we think about healthcare, those are all places which we believe technology, advances of technology are going to make a fundamental difference.  To move the world forward in those areas requires more and more people educated, and educated better in those science and technology and math and engineering that is required to do that.  So, in that case, we believe, that’s what we believe, and, again, that is consistent with our values.  It’s consistent also but clearly with our technology focus.  That would be a part of the consistency, I think, in our corporate social responsibility strategy.

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