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August 27, 2020

Abbott's Maine expansion will continue with 1,200 new jobs

Photo / Tim Greenway A photo from this summer of construction work at Abbott's new Westbrook manufacturing site.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), which has a site in Scarborough and a new manufacturing site in Westbrook, said Thursday it will hire up to 1,200 people in Maine to help with production of COVID-19 testing kits.

The workers will be at the new site in Westbrook, at 5 Bradley Drive, which has undergone a rapid construction process. Abbott said hiring is already underway.

Abbott has more than Maine 800 employees now, so the hiring plans will significantly increase the company's workforce here. 

Of the 1,200 new jobs, 300 will be permanent and the others will be temporary. Many will be entry level positions with on-the-job training.

 The jobs will be specifically related to the production of Abbott’s new BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card rapid test. The test is intended to be portable, about the size of a credit card, affordable and offers results in 15 minutes.

“Abbott is committed to developing important tools to help fight COVID-19,” Vildan Kehr, divisional vice president for talent and acquisition, said in a news release. “These jobs will not only make that possible, but also help Americans feel a little more confident about their health and lives.”

To date, Abbott has launched six tests in the U.S. for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The tests range from rapid point-of-care tests to detect the virus in minutes to lab-based molecular and antibody tests. The company has provided more than 27 million tests to all 50 states in the U.S. and continues to deliver to healthcare providers on the front lines. 

Abbott, which is based in Chicago, has 107,000 employees in 160 countries. It produces a range of health care technology, and has businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. It had sales of $31.9 billion last year. 

Abbott has been very active in Maine recently. Earlier this week, Mainebiz reported that the company acquired its Scarborough site for $17 million

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