After purchasing the former Shopko building in Evergreen that sat vacant for four years, Applied Materials will begin full production of semiconductor plating fabrication in the 100,000 square foot building next month to meet demand from the industry. growing industry.
As Applied Materials’ third location in the Flathead Valley, the new facility will create 200 new jobs in the region. Positions range from fabricators to engineers to managers and the company already employs 600 people in the Flathead Valley alone. The expansion will bring the total square footage to 350,000 between three buildings.
The semiconductor veneer manufacturer has experienced significant growth over the past two years, adding thousands of employees to all branches, including facilities in Austin, Texas and Singapore.
“The demand has never been greater (for microchips),” Dennis McHaffie, vice president of business operations for Applied Materials, said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Evergreen on May 4. “We can’t ship them fast enough – we’re having all the right problems.
The Applied Materials expansion will bring hundreds of additional jobs to the Valley and company officials have already been busy recruiting employees for their other sites.
Montana site general manager Brian Aegerter said there are currently 50 job openings for Kalispell’s two established campuses, and recruiting teams will introduce 200 more for the new Evergreen site. over the next year and a half.
Aegerter says the company holds weekly job fairs and recruiting efforts have progressed in recent weeks.
Most job postings are for manufacturing positions, Aegerter said, which include benefits and range from $17 an hour to nearly $30 an hour, depending on experience.
As the Valley continues to struggle to recruit and retain employees, Kalispell Mayor Mark Johnson spoke at the ceremony and reassured the audience that local government agencies are doing what they can. to bring more housing to the area for potential employees, which remains a recruitment challenge.
“As we grow as a community, we have a lot of challenges,” Johnson said. “We need to hire 200 new people for this building and that is the next challenge. We do what we can to provide accommodation.
In addition to staffing shortages, Applied Materials also continues to struggle with supply chain constraints as shutdowns in China and war in Ukraine disrupt production.
“The supply chain issues are actually getting worse,” Aegerter said. “Supply chain interdependence has become a problem. When one area has a problem, the ripple effect is amplified.