March Prosperity at Work E-Tip

Economics & Job Creation:

U.S. Dept. of Labor (BLS) February Employment Situation

AT&T To Build Data Center in Metro Charlotte Area

6 Ways Recruiters Make a Difference

Large Firms Increasing Jobs

Energy & Power Generation:

US Military to Start Using Biofuels

Consumer’s Need to be Educated On Smart Energy

Life Sciences:

Healthcare Booming in Alaska

Rubicon Genomics Selects Velesco to produce Products for Breast Cancer Diagnostics

Multi-National Lean Manufacturing:

H.C. Starck Wins Evolution in Manufacturing Award


Intel Targets Auto Technology Industry


Human Capital Solutions, Inc. (HCS) is a Global Executive Search and Recruiting firm focused in Energy / Power Generation, Life Sciences, Multinational Lean Manufacturing and Technology.

HCS has created the Prosperity at Work proposition which focuses on creating prosperous relationships between companies and their employees (associates). HCS assists companies in improving bottom line profitability by efficiently planning, organizing and implementing optimized, practical and value-added business solutions.

Please visit our  Candidates page and click on Search Career Opportunities to see our currently open positions.


The Employment Situation – February 2012

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February, and the unemployment rate

was unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Employment rose in professional and businesses services, health care and social

assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining.


Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 12.8 million, was essentially unchanged in

February. The unemployment rate held at 8.3 percent, 0.8 percentage point below

the August 2011 rate. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.7 percent),

adult women (7.7 percent), teenagers (23.8 percent), whites (7.3 percent), blacks

(14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.7 percent) showed little or no change in February.

The jobless rate for Asians was 6.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted. (See tables

A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little

changed at 5.4 million in February. These individuals accounted for 42.6 percent of

the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Both the labor force and employment rose in February. The civilian labor force

participation rate, at 63.9 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.6

percent, edged up over the month. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred

to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 8.1 million in

February. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut

back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

In February, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,

essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)

These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work,

and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as

unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the

survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged workers in

February, about the same as a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)

Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe

no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.6 million persons marginally attached

to the labor force in February had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding

the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See

table A-16.)


Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 227,000 in February. Private-sector employment

grew by 233,000, with job gains in professional and business services, health care and

social assistance, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and mining. (See table B-1.)

Professional and business services added 82,000 jobs in February. Just over half of

the increase occurred in temporary help services (+45,000). Job gains also occurred in

computer systems design (+10,000) and in management and technical consulting services

(+7,000). Employment in professional and business services has grown by 1.4 million

since a recent low point in September 2009.

Health care and social assistance employment rose by 61,000 over the month. Within

health care, ambulatory care services added 28,000 jobs, and hospital employment

increased by 15,000. Over the past 12 months, health care employment has risen by

360,000. In February, social assistance employment edged up (+12,000).

In February, employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 44,000, with nearly all

of the increase in food services and drinking places (+41,000). Since a recent low in

February 2010, food services has added 531,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment rose by 31,000 in February. All of the increase occurred in

durable goods manufacturing, with job gains in fabricated metal products (+11,000),

transportation equipment (+8,000), machinery (+5,000), and furniture and related

products (+3,000). Durable goods manufacturing has added 444,000 jobs since a recent

trough in January 2010.

In February, mining added 7,000 jobs, with most of the gain in support activities for

mining (+5,000). Since a recent low in October 2009, mining employment has increased

by 180,000.

Construction employment changed little in February, after 2 consecutive months of job

gains. Over the month, employment fell by 14,000 in nonresidential specialty trade


Overall, employment in retail trade changed little in February. A large job loss in

general merchandise stores (-35,000) more than offset an increase in January (+23,000).

Employment in motor vehicle and parts dealers continued to trend up in February.

Government employment was essentially unchanged in January and February. In 2011,

government lost an average of 22,000 jobs per month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at

34.5 hours in February. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 41.0 hours,

and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.4 hours. The average workweek for production

and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.8

hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose

by 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $23.31. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings

have increased by 1.9 percent. In February, average hourly earnings of private-sector

production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $19.64.

(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised from +203,000

to +223,000, and the change for January was revised from +243,000 to +284,000.



Huge AT&T Data Center Planned for Kings Mountain

By: Ken Elkins

AT&T Inc. will build a $200 million data center in a Kings Mountain business park that already contains a partially complete Walt Disney Co.  data center. The 470,000-square-foot building for Dallas-based AT&T will open by 2014 in T5 Partners’ Kings Mountain Data Center Park. The first building is part of an anticipated 14-year, $851 million project that would include three more computer rooms totaling 900,000 square feet. The projected 10-year economic impact of the development is $935 million.

“Four years after opening a broadband technical support call center down east, in Goldsboro, we are thrilled to announce today that AT&T’s newest data center will be located in western North Carolina,” Cynthia Marshall, president of AT&T North Carolina, said in announcing the project. It will occupy 130 acres, the largest parcel to be sold in Kings Mountain Data Center Park, off U.S. Highway 74 on the west side of Kings Mountain. The data center will employ about 100 workers. During construction, the center will create 1,000 temporary jobs. N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue says AT&T chose North Carolina for the center because the state has created an “excellent economic environment.”

“AT&T could have located this data center anywhere, but they chose North Carolina,” Perdue says.

The area west and northwest of Charlotte has seen a flurry of a data-center development. During the last four years, Google Inc.    has established an operation in Lenoir, Apple Inc.   has opened a center in Maiden and Facebook Inc.    has started work on a center in Rutherford County. Experts say the area’s low electric rates and access to water to cool the facilities are the key ingredients to the server-farm boom. Builders are finishing the $200 million Disney data center in the Kings Mountain business park. It’s located on a 26-acre site.

This is the second economic-development announcement for Cleveland County in the last 10 days. Last week, Kendrion FAS Controls Inc. said it would add 57 jobs and spend $7.3 million to expand its operations in Shelby. Much of the expense is to add clean rooms to the company’s 189,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on the east side of town.



6 Way Recruiters Can Make a Difference

By: Kevin Wheeler

Never before has the time been riper for recruiters to make a real difference to the profitability of their firms. The differentiator between profits, innovative products, and long-term success is, very simply, the quality of talent.

As gatekeepers, your function is far from trivial. You are key to finding the best talent and therefore ultimately a core player in corporate success. But we continue to act like our job is about as important as sorting screws or stocking shelves. We are rarely influencers or early adopters of technology.

Influencers are noted for focus, their ability to make a case for what they want that is backed up with data, and for empowering others to act. In many cases, they also use the latest tools to raise awareness and efficiency.  If you want to be an influencer here are some ideas, concepts, and provocative moves you can use to transform your recruiting function.

Narrow the Field

Most recruiters have too large a scope and hence spread themselves very thinly, pleasing no one. Determine who the most critical hires are for your firm — the ones who generate revenue, create new products or services, or build strong customer relationships — and then focus primarily on locating where the best of those people are. Use social media, targeted messaging, and focused branding to attract them. Every recruiter should have a community of interested, qualified, and available talent so that they can quickly fill any open position. To do this may require finding additional resources to recruit the less important positions. These can be offloaded to an RPO or agency or, given enough recruiters in your organization, to the less experienced. The most challenging part of this is to determine what the most important positions are. But once the priorities have been set, you can then be far more successful by being able to focus.

Get Relevant Data

Spend the time to establish measurable and meaningful goals that can be proven by facts and data. Your goals and what you focus on have to be approved and believed by the hiring managers. The best way to establish the measures is to include hiring managers in formulating them. Then set up mechanisms and software that can collect and generate the needed numbers without a huge commitment of time. Focus on just three or four metrics and make sure your recruiters know what they are and are rewarded for attaining good results.

I suggest you try to get agreement on reporting such things as quality of hire (perhaps measured by time to productivity, team acceptance, speed to promotion, or turnover within 90 days), and overall staffing efficiency measured by dividing the total of all the base salaries of your hires by your total recruitment spend, including all overhead, advertising, posting fees, search costs, and signing bonuses and so one. This figure is much better than cost per hire as it is free from regional salary differences and the differences in cost to hire for different positions. An additional measure is the time to present a candidate that is acceptable to the hiring managers. And that should be as close to “0” as possible. Perhaps realistically the time should be 24-48 hours.

Go for the Crowd

Leverage your employees and seek out connections, referrals, and recommendations of good people. Don’t worry about specific professions or skills. Go for anyone who your employees think is a high performer, unusual thinker, entrepreneur, and doer. You can screen them later and, as work changes and new needs arise, who knows whom your firm may need. As IDEO’s CEO David Kelley says, “Hire people you know you don’t need now, but you think you might need later.”

A wide range of skills and experience means that you have a broad and deep talent community to ask for additional referrals if the community does not have what you need already.  If you are an influencer, you should be able to have a conversation about this, even if you are not successful in changing anyone’s mind. By planting the seeds, offering a few different people, and showing you are thinking about the long term success of your firm, you add value and gain respect.

Move the Transactional Out

Outsource or automate whatever is routine, transactional, and doesn’t directly lead to a new candidate, a close, or a hired person. Your job is to find and get great people hired. It’s not to administer paper, write reports, manage budgets, and schedule interviews. Someone else (or a tool) can do this, freeing you and your team to hire the most critical contributors.

Empower Hiring Managers

Let them do more. This is their hire, not yours. You are the scout, the initial evaluator, and the coach. You should be coaching the hiring managers and advising them how to probe, sell and close. Of course, you can help this process by quickly providing good candidates, but the key is to offload as much as you can to them. This may require you to invest time in training them, providing them with tools, and influencing them to take more responsibility by showing them how critical their involvement is to their own success.

Use Technology — Especially Video

I have written many articles on using tools to improve productivity and quality. I truly believe that much of what currently takes up recruiter’s time is wasted energy. Everything including brandingsourcinginterviewing,assessing, marketing, onboarding and workforce planning can be augmented or even completely offloaded to technology. For example, social media, and crowdsourcing techniques can relive you of most of the need for Boolean search, job posting, and other time-consuming tasks with low return on your time investment. By feeding candidates good content, and by creating and managing engaging social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, you can improve the flow of qualified candidates. If you augment this with video-based simulations, games, or similar activities that assess skills and abilities, you can eliminate the need for many tedious hours of interviewing or testing.

And, if you use video interviewing you can save time, lower the costs of travel and time wasted waiting and scheduling, plus you will have a recorded interview that can be viewed by hiring managers anywhere, anytime. Consistency rises; decisions are made against the same information. There is no better way you can become truly professional at what you do than by improving your ability to quickly deliver great people and by being able to influence hiring managers to make better decisions.

Large Firms Increasing Job Gains

A common question that is asked by the citizens of the United States is whether or not more jobs are created from small companies or larger companies. For quite a while, people have believed that it is the smaller companies that help with the increase in job gains. However, new statistical information that was recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that it is actually the larger companies that are helping to increase job gains in the United States.

Nathan Clausen, the economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistic, has said that the most growth of employment has taken place within larger firms. Clausen is in charge of creating new statistics for when it comes to employment, job gains, and job growth.

Figures show employment from the spring of 1990, during the month of April when employment reached a high, all the way up until March 2011, a period of time in which employment hit an all-time low due to the Great Recession, which began in 2007 and lasted for two years, ending in 2009. During this span of many years, statistics show that it was the larger companies, known for having nearly 500 employees or more had actually risen by 29 percent. However, the smaller companies, with less than 50 employees, had only risen by less than half of the amount of the larger companies.

The smaller companies, all of which had less than 49 employers, experienced a growth of about 10.5 percent during this period. If the private sector grew at that exact same pace, instead of rising by the amount of 19 percent, millions of people would be without jobs, meaning that the unemployment rate would have been shockingly high, at about 14 percent.

Employment within smaller companies seems to have had stability during good economic times and bad economic times. During the recession, the employment numbers seem to fall while they rise drastically during expansions. And, after the recession in 2001, there were more people working for smaller companies instead of the larger companies. It seems as though during specific turning points within the economy, it is the small companies that are nimble. During the summer months of 2007, the smaller companies began to make layoffs, reducing the number of employees and their positions. It was not for another seven months that the larger companies began following suit, eliminating positions and cutting back on employers. And, the smaller companies started adding workers back to the workforce four months before the larger companies began adding more employment opportunities. Aside from smaller companies and larger companies, it also depends on what these types of companies are. Some companies hire seasonal workers, specifically retail companies, which can lead to temporary employment gains.

EERC to Develop Biofuel for US Military

By: Kari Williamson

The EERC will demonstrate gasification-based technologies for converting non-petroleum feedstocks, such as coal and biomass, into liquid fuels including biofuel. The testing supports CCAT’s work for the US Defense Logistics Agency (US DLA).

The US Military has committed to increase energy security through the utilisation of domestic resources with life cycle CO2 emissions equal to or less than their petroleum-derived counterparts.

The EERC is supporting the CCAT team by using the EERC’s transport reactor development unit (TRDU) and bench-scale entrained-flow gasifier (EFG) systems to evaluate the impact of fuel quality and operating conditions on synthetic gas composition, gas clean-up, system performance, overall process efficiency, and CO2 emissions.

“Dozens of fuels have been tested in these gasification systems over the past two decades,” says Mike Holmes, Deputy Associate Director for Research at the EERC.

“For example, since its commissioning in 1990, our TRDU gasifier has proven to be an excellent system for evaluating the operational performance of all ranks of coal, coal–biomass blends, and 100% biomass. The seven-story-high TRDU system enables the gasification reactions to be self-sustaining, but it is still small enough that several different operating conditions can be evaluated in a single day.”

The project will be completed by the end of September.

Industry Experts: Still a Need to Educate Consumers on Smart Energy Options

By: Laylan Copelin

Consumers are not yet smart about so-called smart energy options for their homes.

Parks Associates, an international research firm sponsoring a Smart Energy Summit in Austin for three days, focused on how the industry — from retailers to utilities to appliance makers — can encourage consumers to embrace technological changes coming to the home energy market.

The deployment of smart meters, the widespread use of broadband and the rise of smartphones and tablet computers allow consumers to manage their home energy usage, even remotely, to save money and make their lives more convenient.

Yet the market has generally stayed flat the past three years, according to Parks Associates, because consumers aren’t aware of what’s available, are concerned about the price or don’t see the value of the service.

Among the research findings:

• More than 60 percent of the U.S. households with broadband think that saving energy and lowering utility bills are desirable, but only 19 percent have taken advantage of the energy-saving programs.

• Almost 40 percent of those households are unfamiliar with the programs and services available.

• Interest in the products or services are cut in half as prices climb toward $99 per month.

• At the end of 2011, about 28 percent of U.S. households had a smart meter.

Despite the hurdles to growing the market, retailers, appliance makers, security firms and broadband providers are expanding their products and services.

GE Appliances, for example, is building refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers, ovens, washers and dryers that can be managed via the Internet.

“We show how much each appliance is costing them,” said Jonathan “J.T.” Thompson with GE’s Home Energy Management division.

Armed with that knowledge, customers typically cut their electricity bills by 5 percent, but they can increase that to 15 percent by automatically shifting their appliance run times from peak-demand prices to cheaper off-peak prices.

Several speakers at the conference urged companies to partner with one another or with an electric utility as the most effective way to grow the market.

During the conference, Comcast Cable and EcoFactor, a California company, announced an agreement to deliver cloud-based energy management service to residential customers.

EcoFactor learns the unique heating and cooling patterns of a home and makes automatic and incremental adjustments to the thermostat based on real-time weather data, the thermal characteristics of the house and the temperature preferences of the homeowner.

Healthcare Industry in Alaska is Booming

In Alaska, the healthcare industry is definitely booming and the boom is expected to grow and increase throughout 2012. There were approximately 31,800 healthcare related jobs during the year of 2010, which was a rise of about 46 percent within the last decade. The growth of healthcare jobs seems to be growing faster than the population of the state and faster than all other sectors.

The healthcare employment data was released within a report by the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. The report states that the healthcare sector has helped contribute to the economy, with about 7.2 billion during 2010 alone. However, the industry still has its own set of problems as well.

Underpayments have cost different Alaska hospitals nearly 410 million during 2010, which was 21 percent of the total cost and is an extremely high rate, the report states. The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association’s president, Karen Perdue, says unpaid hospital costs are often shifted over to other people and create higher bills for the people who can actually afford to pay it. Perdue explains that this is one of the several reasons as to why the cost of hospital care is typically higher than other states.

When it comes to healthcare employment, a little over 50 percent of those jobs are within thirteen different hospitals in the Alaska area, along with some nursing homes that operate around the state of Alaska.

Perdue says, “It’s easy to see why Alaskans often don’t think of health care as an industry. But it is, and a very strong one. Hospitals are major employers.” She also says, “It’s like a fire station, open 24 hours every day of the year. You love to know it’s there, and you want it staffed with the most competent people and the best equipment. And, you hope you never have to use it.”

Healthcare employment helps to stimulate the company, aside from offering employment to those individuals who have gone without work for quite a while. Construction spending for hospitals in Alaska increased and was at about $305 million during 2011. This helped out the construction sector. And, there were a number of projects in the making in several different areas, including Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Nome.

Hospitals have also helped many businesses develop, including medical supply business, hotels, and clinics as well. In fact, in Anchorage, there has been a growth in the amount of clinics and medical offices in the area. The Providence Hospital complex and Alaska Regional Hospital are nearby and are partly the reason for the growth of clinics and offices.

However, it is true that in Alaska, healthcare is more expensive than it is in other states. A study, which took place in 2011, showed that hospitals in Alaska charge 38 percent more than six other comparison states.

Rubicon Genomics Selects Velesco to Manufacture its TransFLEX RNA Amplification Kits for Clinical Diagnostic Use

Rubicon Genomics, Inc., a company developing and commercializing sample-specific pre-analytical processes to improve the capabilities and performance of DNA and RNA analytical platforms, today announced that it has selected Velesco Pharmaceutical Services to manufacture the TransPLEX® kits it will be supplying for use with Agendia’s breast cancer diagnostics.  Velesco is a provider of analytical method development, drug formulation, stability testing and consulting services to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. It operates a 10,000 square foot cGMP manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

“We are delighted to have found a highly qualified manufacturing partner located near our headquarters in Ann Arbor,” commented James Koziarz, CEO of Rubicon. “Velesco’s cGMP facility and quality processes are first-rate; its quality track record is impeccable and it has the formulation, fill and finishing expertise we need. Velesco provides us an immediate pathway to cGMP kits for diagnostic use and it has the capacity to rapidly expand cGMP production as sales of our diagnostic kits ramp up. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship as we grow our clinical diagnostics business.”

Rubicon recently announced a clinical supply agreement with molecular diagnostics firm Agendia for the company’s TransPLEX whole genome RNA amplification technology. Agendia is using Rubicon’s kits to facilitate the analysis of FFPE (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) patient samples for use with its Symphony™ breast cancer diagnostics. cGMP production of the TransPLEX kits is required as part of the FDA’s 510(K) clearance process for the Symphony tests.

“We are pleased to be able to provide high quality cGMP manufacturing services to Rubicon as they expand into the clinical diagnostics arena,” said Velesco Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Gerry Cox. “The availability of exceptional life science talent and infrastructure was a key reason we chose to grow our company in Michigan, and the addition of our neighbor Rubicon to our growing client list is another validation of that choice.”

Velesco is a CMC contract research organization, founded and staffed by pharmaceutical scientists from Pfizer’s former Michigan R&D campus. Velesco specializes in nimble, just-in-time cGMP drug product manufacturing, as well as traditional pharmaceutical cGMP manufacture.

Rubicon’s TransPLEX RNA kits and GenomePLEX® DNA kits are members of its OmniPLEX® family of amplification technologies that are designed to deliver sufficient quantities of high quality nucleic acids to enable analyses of FFPE samples for biomedical research and clinical medicine. They use proprietary methods for advanced library synthesis and high-yield amplification to prepare samples for sensitive and accurate PCR, microarray and next-generation sequencing analysis. They have been used with thousands of clinical FFPE samples with exceptional consistency, superior performance and proven sensitivity. The OmniPLEX kits are fast, simple to use and amenable to automation.

Going “Green” Garners H.C. Starck the Evolution of Manufacturing Award

For the second year running, H.C. Starck was among 11 companies honored at the 2012 Northeast Ohio Evolution of Manufacturing Awards sponsored by Smart Business magazine. Recognized for its excellence in manufacturing execution and implementation of Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and a Sustainable Energy Management system, H.C. Starck also realized benefits from going “green”.

Going “green” means total compliance with local, state, federal, and international environmental regulations. In addition, H.C. Starck’s materials contribute to the energy efficiencies of electronic devices such as smart phones, tablet PCs, and HDTVs, fuel efficiency of airplanes, and “green” energy generation by solar panels. A joint venture to develop and manufacture cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries to power electric cars ranks high on its list of green initiatives.

“We are honored to receive this award in Euclid for the second year. Since 2011, H. C. Starck has increased its involvement in environmentally friendly technologies such as solar power, “green” energy generation and transmission, and energy-efficient lighting such as LED,” says Dmitry Shashkov, President and CEO of H.C. Starck’s Fabricated Products business segment. “This award reflects our ongoing commitment to both our employees and communities, as well as to larger environmental issues that H. C. Starck products can help address.”

Along with the gamut of technology innovations comes an increase in social and environmental responsibility. H.C. Starck embraced this challenge with key Responsible Care® programs to address pollution prevention, process safety, environmental, health, and safety, community awareness and emergency response.

H.C. Starck benefited from its “green” initiatives when it was certified as a Sony Green Partner in 2011 for having an Environmental Quality Assurance System in place to meet Sony’s strict international environmental standards.

As a responsible corporate citizen, H.C. Starck meets and continually strives to exceed governmental, industry and environmental standards worldwide. To ensure this, H.C. Starck has implemented various internal management systems. These are based on international standards and encompass all areas of the company. H.C. Starck’s Responsible Supply Chain Management (RSCM) system ensures efficient and competitive sourcing of conflict free raw materials that meet the requirements of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. The EICC has declared H.C. Starck’s tantalum supply chain free of conflict materials and lists H.C. Starck as a Conflict-Free Smelter (CFS). Ultimately, most the metals, materials, and parts that H.C. Starck manufactures are recyclable at the end of their respective use.

About H.C. StarckH.C. Starck is a leading global supplier of refractory metals and technical ceramics, and serves growing industries such as the electronics, chemicals, automotive, medical technology, aerospace, energy technology, and environmental technology industries, as well as mechanical engineering and tool manufacturers. H.C. Starck has 12 manufacturing facilities located in Europe, America, and Asia, with close to 3,000 employees worldwide.

Auto Tech is Target of Intel $100 Million Fund

When Intel wants to build or penetrate a market, it has a few favorite tricks–including putting up a hefty pot of money into start-ups that could become partners or supporters of its chip technology. The auto industry is the latest example.

The Silicon Valley company on Wednesday is announcing a $100 million venture capital fund to accelerate technology innovation in cars. Intel said it will also establish a product development center in Germany that will focus on the field.

Why bother? Well, Intel needs to find businesses besides selling chips for computers, and cars are becoming a major target as more computing power is added for safety, engine control, navigation and entertainment.

Many such applications involve either the car adding its own wireless communications capability, or interacting with Interconnected-smartphones and tablets that users bring into the vehicle, said Staci Palmer, general manager of Intel’s automotive solutions division.

In one scenario frequently cited by chip industry marketers, cars may also eventually begin sending information to each other. For example, a vehicle forced to brake because of an accident could send a warning to others behind it, Palmer said.

But this won’t be a cakewalk for Intel. The company is known for microprocessors, which run large pieces of software and usually work alongside separate memory chips. Most cars use simpler microcontrollers, which have built-in memory and are sold by companies such as Renesas Electronics, Freescale Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.

The situation is not too dissimilar from Intel’s position in smartphones, where it has some promising relationships but not much in the way of high-volume sales. “We are a relative newcomer to the market,” Palmer said, during a briefing with reporters.

But Intel does have cash, and a big venture capital arm with years that can use its investments to help accelerate diversification. The company has set up multiple funds in the past to aid favored technologies; in the past decade, for example, communications fund plowed money into areas that included an effort called Centrino that helped popularize the wireless technology called Wi-Fi.

At the moment, the company has a number of geography-specific funds, targeting investments in China, Brazil, India and the Middle East, said Arvind Sodhani, president of the investment arm called Intel Capital. It has another fund at the moment to spur creation of portable computers it calls Ultrabooks, as well as a fund targeting the development of apps that work with Intel technology.

Intel says its auto-technology development center will be in Karlsruhe, Germany, near universities and tech suppliers that serve the car industry. The company expects to eventually employ about 60 people at the center. Intel also is announcing plans for an academic program, also centered in Karlsruhe, to develop skills applicable to the auto industry.

Please visit our  Candidates page and click on Search Career Opportunities to see our currently open positions.

Human Capital Solutions, Inc. (HCS) is a Global Executive Search and Recruiting firm focused in Energy / Power Generation, Life Sciences, Multinational Lean Manufacturing and Technology.

HCS has created the Prosperity at Work proposition which focuses on creating prosperous relationships between companies and their employees (associates). HCS assists companies in improving bottom line profitability by efficiently planning, organizing and implementing optimized, practical and value-added business solutions.

1437 Military Cutoff Road  |  Suite 201  |  Wilmington, NC 28403 | o. 910.338.2790 

f. 910.256.4036  | | | Prosperity at Work



Recommended Posts