More than just memory, Micron Technology (MU, Fortune 500) is one of the legacy companies and largest employers of the Boise Valley with approximately 6,000 employees locally.
Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, Micron Technology manufactures semiconductor technology and memory control products. Micron Technology was founded in 1978 and is one of the top patent producing companies in the nation. In 2012, Micron received over 900 patent awards in the United States.
"We engineer the innovations that make computing faster, travel safer, health care more effective, energy greener and much more," says Mark Durcan, CEO of Micron Technology. "Our products are in nearly every electronic device on the market today. You likely use our memory every day - in products from computing, networking and server applications to mobile, embedded, consumer, automotive and industrial designs."
For being a company that had net sales of $8.2 billion in 2011-2012, some may wonder what a typical day off might look like for Mark Durcan, as the CEO of a technology empire. Durcan, like many other Boise residents, spends time on the local ski hill at Bogus Basin, appreciating the arts, watching his kids play soccer just down the street from his office, and enjoying opportunities available in the community.
Holding a Master of Chemical Engineering from Rice University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Mark Durcan has been with Micron Technology since graduate school. "I never planned to be here going on thirty years, but it would be almost impossible to drag me out of here now." When Durcan left Texas to move here, he explained, "They thought I was crazy at the time. Thirty years ago, Boise was a much smaller place than it is today."
Durcan explained that the Boise Valley is unique in having easy access to leadership, a high-class university located in the downtown, a greenbelt that runs through the city and great art. "A lot of the entertainment and culture that you expect in a much bigger city is here because the area has a history of philanthropic leadership."
When talking about employees, Micron Technology recruits the best and brightest in the world. "We look for people that are high-energy, entrepreneurial and able to go out and create new lines of business, because our business is always changing. There is a lot of talent in Boise and Micron is not the only high-tech company in town." In Boise, the Micron campus houses research and development, manufacturing and corporate leadership. "It used to be hard to recruit people to Boise, but once they got here they loved it. These days it is pretty easy."
"I travel all over the world all the time. I'm traveling internationally once a month…when I return home to Boise, I always look out the window and say 'Thank God I'm in Boise, Idaho', because it is such an easy place to live and go to work. It's a wonderful environment with lots to do and it's safe for kids. I'm always thankful when I return home"
On giving back to the community, Micron Technology has been one of the region's largest financial supporters. "We have a Foundation, which has been making investments not only in higher education, like the new COBE [college of business and economics] building, but also in funding things like a PhD program in electrical engineering and an advanced material science program at Boise State University". The Micron Foundation invests in education, the arts, and other philanthropic giving. The Foundation recently made a generous donation towards the College of Western Idaho's new technical training center, a 176,000 square foot, state-of-the-industry facility housing nine CWI professional-technical programs and workforce development training opportunities.
In a phrase, Mark Durcan describes Micron as a "great place to work with products that make a difference".
On Talent, Workforce & Diversity: "We can access a lot of talent locally, but there are also folks we bring in from all over the world. I think sometimes people don't understand the diversity of the workforce that's here. When I go out to my kid's soccer games on the weekend, and there are some beautiful soccer complexes less than a mile from here, it is like a United Nations of kids out there because there is so much talent coming in from all over the world."
Entrepreneurship: What do we do to grow the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem? "It's already happening; we are like a snowball rolling downhill right now. As long as we continue to have the corporate/civic leadership that we have had in the community, and I see no reason for that to change, it is a snowball that is going to continue to build."
Advice to Entrepreneurs: "There are going to be lots of opportunities in life. They don't necessarily come from jumping on a treadmill at the largest, most successful company you can find. Many of them come from within you. My recommendation is that you find the situation you are most comfortable with and create your own success."
What is it like to work for Micron Technology and live in the Boise Valley? Watch the video below to learn more.