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KLA Location Spotlight:  A “Singapore’s Best Employer”

Apr 20, 2022 5 min read

Next stop on our virtual tour of KLA’s global locations is Singapore, on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With over 1,000 employees across three locations, KLA Singapore is headquartered in the nation’s capital on the southern part of the main island. The city is regarded as one of the world’s greatest commercial centers for its diverse, robust economy and the largest port in Southeast Asia. It is also known for its scenic tree-lined streets, landscaped open spaces and beautiful parks.

KLA is ranked one of Singapore’s best employers, according to the The Straits Times Singapore’s Best Employers 2022” list. KLA is 14th best company overall and ranked second in the semiconductors, electronics, electrical engineering, technology hardware and equipment category. Based on an independent survey commissioned by The Straits Times and not associated with any employers, more than 17,000 employees working for companies employing at least 200 people within their Singaporean operations took part in the survey.

Singapore’s Best Employer companies made the coveted list based on several criteria, including employees’ ratings on their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family, and participants’ ratings of other employers in their respective industries. Read The Straights Times story about KLA here.

Training Excellence

KLA Singapore has the largest of the company’s four global technical training centers. Recognized by Training Magazine as a Hall of Fame organization, the training center offers specialized product training and certifications to internal and external customers that ensure KLA’s offerings are serviced and maintained according to the highest standards.

The center qualifies more than 1,000 engineers every year by managing training requirements of 30 KLA products for global customers in 25 countries. With the goal of producing proficient engineers, the facility uses a range of blended, remote and hybrid learning technologies, including next-generation and augmented reality-based training methodologies to enhance the overall program.

“We’re one of KLA’s fastest-growing operations that supports the manufacturing, research and development and sales and customer service activities of several important business units.”

Theo Kneepkens, senior vice president, Global Operations

To meet customer need, KLA Singapore is expanding rapidly, with a 33% increase in employee headcount in the most recent fiscal year. The busy site is expecting even more explosive growth and is looking for qualified engineering and manufacturing talent to fill more than 200 job openings.

Prioritizing Employee Care and Wellbeing

When the global COVID-19 pandemic forced KLA and countless companies around the world to modify their operations in 2020, site leaders sprang into action by assembling and delivering comprehensive care packs filled with useful work-from-home accessories and COVID-19 protective gear to all Singapore employees.

“Beyond day-to-day performance and efficiency, we’re concerned with the holistic wellbeing of employees. During the pandemic, people were faced with physical and mental health challenges, so we came up with several solutions to help employees manage COVID-19-related stress and anxiety.”

Ray Chua, head of Human Resources, KLA Singapore

During key phases of the pandemic, employees commuted to work via company-paid taxis. The company gave business travel premiums to employees who were subjected to quarantine hardships during essential trips to customer locations. And, when land border crossings at the Malaysia-Singapore causeway were closed, KLA Singapore provided hotel accommodations to its Malaysian employees who were commuting daily via the causeway and were left stranded. This provision remains in place more than two years later.

Employees Team Up to Help their Community

With assistance from the KLA Foundation, Singapore employees continue to support numerous local organizations.

The pandemic has not prevented KLA Singapore management and employees from contributing and giving back to the larger community.

For 20 years, KLA volunteers have worked with the faculty and administrators of Metta School, which educates special-needs children with autism and mild intellectual disabilities. Every year, employees conduct mock job interviews with students to prepare them for rewarding lives and careers after graduation.

KLA Singapore supports Lion Befrienders, a nonprofit offering integrated eldercare services that enhance the social, emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of nearly 8,000 at-risk seniors. Throughout the pandemic, when many Lion Befriender clients were alone and isolated, KLA volunteers distributed almost 3,000 care packages containing daily living and medical essentials.

With the help of KLA employees, the One Million Trees Movement has planted over 366,000 trees across Singapore.

Early in 2022, Theo Kneepkens, senior vice president, Global Operations, and 50 employees planted 60 trees near KLA Singapore’s office as part of the Plant-A-Tree Program. The ongoing tree-planting program is a joint initiative of the One Million Trees Movement, which seeks to plant more than 1 million trees in 10 years, and the Garden City Fund, a government-sponsored nonprofit committed to optimizing green spaces in Singapore.

KLA Singapore’s Most Valuable Resource

Theo Kneepkens (above), senior vice president, Global Operations, and employees enjoy a breakfast hosted by Human Resources.

Here at KLA, our employees are our most valuable resource. Without innovative, insightful and talented employees, KLA would be just another company.”

Jane Lum, Human Resources, KLA Singapore

Promoting an engaged and inclusive workplace fosters collaboration and drives innovation. Here’s what employees are saying about collaboration, innovation, opportunities and the workplace culture of inclusion at KLA Singapore:

Dengpeng Chen (bottom row, right), hardware and systems engineering director, and his team with the first shipment of a new product they developed for a wafer customer in Europe.

“KLA provides employees not only with the opportunity to solve challenging problems, which I truly enjoy, but also a definitive path for their ongoing development and career growth. Management encourages us to set goals for our own advancement, then gives us the training and learning opportunities to make it happen.”

Dengpeng Chen, hardware and systems engineering director

“At KLA, cross-functional groups are respectful of the opinions of all team members. Employees can freely voice their opinions and concerns in meetings with management, and they can expect to receive clear and honest answers. In addition, KLA is a true multicultural company which encourages frequent interactions with colleagues from other geographic locations. Vast training opportunities abroad giving wide exposure to different cultures and opportunities make KLA one of the best places to work.”

Peter Anish, manufacturing manager

“I believe there is nothing more important than active collaboration, especially in an environment where people are constantly working on the edges of deep science. Whether you’re an optics, systems, electrical or mechanical engineer, every individual plays an important role in designing solutions that transform the future. Managers treat employees as individuals and make an effort to accommodate personal work styles and flexibility needs. KLA emphasizes clear communication and sharing information, and that creates openness between managers and employees.”

Huang Xiaohua, manufacturing design engineer

To start your career at KLA, a World’s Most Admired Company and one of Singapore’s Best Employers, browse our job openings in Singapore and our many global locations for the opportunities ahead for you.

Subscribe now to Advance so you don’t miss the next location spotlight, employee stories or news about our latest products and business achievements.

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