Hewlett-Packard Co.s Spokane division, which primarily designs and manufactures radio-frequency test equipment, plans to hire as many as 50 additional workers here this year and is adding temporary space to ease overcrowding at its Liberty Lake complex, says Liz Cox, a company spokeswoman here.
Those new workers would be in addition to 62 employees that the big Palo Alto, Calif.-based manufacturer has hired here during the past 16 months. The Spokane operation currently employs 932 people, full and part time, Cox says.
Meanwhile, construction is wrapping up on a 20,000-square-foot modular building on the H-P campus here. Cox says the building has been assembled and workers now are installing cubicles inside. She says that the building should be ready to occupy later this month.
H-P plans to hire mostly engineers and some electronic technicians as it brings the new people on board. Cox says that nearly 45 of the about 50 expected new hires likely will be engineers. The bulk of those engineers will join the divisions research-and-development team. Other new hires will replace a handful of people who have been moved to other areas within the company in recent months.
We cant predict how soon they will come on board because the hiring process can take some time, Cox says. She says that the need for the additional engineers is linked to the Spokane divisions plans for the development of some new products.
Cox says that H-P would have to see a huge amount of growth to justify building another permanent structure on the H-P campus. She says the main facility currently has a lot of production capacity, but limited space for additional people, which is why the company continues to add temporary buildings.
In this competitive market, its important to maintain a lot of flexibility, she says. The company already has other temporary buildings on its campus.
The radio-frequency test equipment that the division makes here is used by manufacturers and telecommunication companies to test mobile phones and other wireless devices, as well as the transmitters used in connection with such products.
The Spokane division manufactured its first piece of equipment for the commercial communications industry in 1991, after having produced communications gear for the aerospace defense industry for many years. Since then, the division has developed about 25 commercial communications products.
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