Micron Technology CEO Mark Durcan spoke to a full house at the City Club of Boise today.
It was an opportunity to hear the new head of one of Boise’s most influential companies and largest employers discuss its market position and future.
Durcan stressed Micron’s strength in a notoriously volatile industry, and explained the strategic importance of acquiring bankrupt Japanese memory chip maker Elpida. That deal should be finalized by this spring, he said, pending the approval of Elpida’s creditors and antitrust approval from several countries.
It was Durcan’s answer to a question about education that drew the most significant response from the audience.
“Do you think Idaho’s education system is responding to the need for engineers?” someone asked. Durcan described work Micron has done to fund and collaborate with Idaho educational institutions. He then hesitated and went on.
“What I would say is that I think Idaho as a community – not necessarily as a state government – Idaho as a community is doing a good job trying to increase and improve the infrastructure available to corporations here.” It was a pointed distinction that drew applause and some laughter.
State higher education budgets have been cut by roughly 20 percent since 2009, according to data from the Legislative Services Office.
Micron Technology was established in Boise in 1978, and employs more than 5,000 people in the Treasure Valley.