Intel in Costa Rica
About Intel Costa Rica
Intel has had an important manufacturing and research presence in Costa Rica since 1997. The employees of Intel Costa Rica assemble and test microprocessors, design electronic circuits, and provide financial services for the entire corporation. They also participate in a number of social responsibility projects in the community, focusing their efforts on education and the environment.
Our presence in Costa Rica has made a dramatic positive impact on the country’s economy, providing more than 2,800 jobs and supporting local industries such as electronics and construction. While Costa Rica has historically been known for exporting coffee beans and bananas, thanks to Intel’s investment there, those traditional exports have been surpassed by circuits and computer chips. Our economic impact on the country has also been a catalyst for other foreign direct investments. Plus, Intel has been recognized as a responsible corporate citizen for our efforts in improving technical education and environmental practices.
Over the past decade, Intel Costa Rica has become a proven asset to our communities across the country. The employees have actively developed and executed community initiatives that focus on education, technology, and environmental awareness. More than 50 percent of its employees volunteered their time, energy, and skills to more than 40 different programs and projects annually.
Some of Intel’s community projects include painting and maintenance of public schools and planting trees. Intel also works on programs where volunteers boost the entrepreneurial spirit, share environmental concepts, and motivate students to improve their writing skills. Intel Costa Rica volunteers contribute to national education programs that promote science and math, and actively participate in the national science fair and other technology-focused programs. The company has been recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life in Costa Rica. Intel is a five-time winner of the Community Service Award from the Costa Rican American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).
Promoting education is a major priority for Intel Costa Rica. We invest an average of 1 million USD annually to support local education programs in the country. Our programs are focused on three areas: elementary and high school education, higher education, and education in the community. Our goal is to promote 21st century skills, including science, math, and engineering, through volunteer work and financial contributions.
In 2006, Intel Costa Rica implemented the Intel Involved Matching Grant Program, which gives employees the opportunity to earn money for organizations that are meaningful to them. The Intel Foundation matches our employees’ volunteer hours through monetary donations. Since the program’s launch, Intel Costa Rica employees have donated thousands of hours and raised thousands of dollars to support local education.
Intel® Teach Program
The Intel® Teach Program helps teachers integrate technology into their classrooms to enhance student learning. In Costa Rica, the Intel Teach Program is coordinated in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Education, and is implemented by the Omar Dengo Foundation. Training is available for teachers in all regions of the country, including those in very remote one-room schoolhouses. More than 50 percent of K-12 teachers in Costa Rica have participated in this program since the program started in 2001.
Intel Costa Rica has also donated computers and other digital equipment to over 20 area schools, establishing model classrooms where teachers can use technology resources to improve the teaching of math, science, social sciences, and language. These donations and technical trainings have already made a major impact on education in Costa Rica.
Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF)
In collaboration with the National Science Fair Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Intel promotes student interest in science, math, and technology careers. We also help support 20 regional science fairs as well as the annual Engineer Fair and the annual National Science and Technology Fair for elementary and high school students. Intel sponsors the first- and second-place winners at the National Science and Technology Fair to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) each year. Sixty-five students have represented Costa Rica at ISEF since 1998, winning a number of awards and honors.
Intel Computer Clubhouse
The Intel Computer Clubhouse uses creative technology to help underserved youth develop confidence and acquire problem-solving and technology skills. This community education model forms a network of 120 Computer Clubhouses around the globe locating two of these youth centers in Costa Rica where approximately 1,500 students benefit.
The Clubhouses have offered workshops in a diverse range of subjects, including robotics, conversational English, graphic design, and fashion.
Intel has donated parallel programming labs to UCR and ITCR in 2008, and to the UNA in 2009 which allow computer science students to learn new programming skills that were not taught before in the class room. Professors at these universities are working on the curricular changes needed to teach parallel programming techniques. This will bring Costa Rican students in par with their peers in other countries.
Intel is also supporting undergraduate and graduate students as research assistants in nanotechnology research projects that are being conducted by both UCR and ITCR. These projects attract a sizeable amount of students and professors together from the materials science, chemistry, physics, electronics, and computer science departments. Additional research collaboration in the form of a visiting faculty program, enables a professor from a university to research on a particular topic at the Intel site while keeping in touch with his students. This interaction brings back real life hands-on experience to the students as curricula and research direction aligns with industry’s development of technology.
Scholarship programs cover several areas. Four-year engineering scholarships enable a high school student to pursue an engineering degree. A total of six students are being supported under this program, five at ITCR and one at UCR. A special four-year engineering scholarship has also been awarded to an ISEF winner who is currently studying at ITESM (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico). And finally, university and technical high school students, that graduate and join the dynamic service center job market as well as the more qualified technical positions in multinational companies, see their job possibilities broadened through our English as a Second Language scholarship programs. A total of 50 technical high school students and about 15 university students are supported by this scholarship program.
Working closely with the Ministry of Public Education, Intel Costa Rica helps strengthen the country’s technology knowledge base. We have donated 30 industrial robots and other specialized manufacturing equipment machinery to 21 different technical institutions. Students in these institutions design and build demonstrations, create manufacturing processes, and practice maintenance procedures with high-tech equipment. Intel places particular emphasis on the importance of conduct and occupational safety procedures in laboratory and school environments. Intel works with the technical education system to further promote the values and skills that are required in the workforce.
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)
Intel has developed a major Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) community awareness program. Intel EHS professionals, together with community groups and local government officials, work with neighboring companies to improve our environmental impact and practices.
The arrival of Intel positively changed many safety paradigms in Costa Rica. The company has introduced new products with no adverse impact on the safety and health of our workers, or on the environment. Intel has recorded no regulatory violations of any kind. Its environmental performance indicators demonstrated continuous improvement. Injury rates were reduced to minimal levels, while recycling and waste minimization levels went up. The company has also implemented programs to share our environmental health and safety methods with the entire country.
Intel Costa Rica has significantly increased its solid waste recycling performance, and is now recycling about 74 percent of the solid waste it generates. The revenue generated from our solid waste recycling program is donated to community public schools. Intel is also collaborating with community schools to help them adopt our recycling practices. Intel Costa Rica has continued to decrease our environmental impact by installing a new flow-control system at our sites to reduce and reuse water.
Intel Costa Rica's efforts to promote environmental health and safety have resulted in several awards. Intel is a four-time winner of the National Safety Award, "Preventico," from the National Insurance Institute—the most prestigious safety and health award presented by any government institution in the country. The company has also received the White Flag Award, presented by the Ministry of Health, for outstanding health and safety performance.
Costa Rica Corporate Affairs Department
Componentes Intel de Costa Rica
Calle 129 La Ribera de Belen
Heredia, Costa Rica
Phone number: (506) 2298-6000