Agilent Technologies, which owns Hewlett-Packard Co.s former operations here, is looking to hire more than 100 people in Spokane immediately.
Liz Cox, an Agilent spokeswoman here, says the bulk of the new hires are needed to fill entry-level production-operator positions in the printed-circuit assembly division here. That division assembles printed circuit boards for Agilents various business segments, including the wireless business segment here that makes test and measurement instruments for the wireless communications industry.
Business is very, very good, Cox says. There are several businesses within Agilent that are just hot. Id say some are red hot and others are white hot, and the wireless segment and the lightwave fiber-optic segment are absolutely white hot right now.
Cox says that Agilent has been doing a fair amount of hiring in Spokane for the last six months, but has stepped up its hiring just recently. She says that Agilent currently employs about 1,100 people here, up from nearly 1,000 as of Oct. 31.
In addition to the more than 100 people the company now is looking to hire, it has about 75 job offers outstanding, Cox says. She adds, though, that not all of the new hires will equate to a net addition for the company. Some positions are being filled through attrition, albeit a small amount, she says.
Besides production operators, who will make up the bulk of the hiring, the company also is looking to hire a couple dozen engineers for both the printed-circuit assembly division and the wireless business segment here, Cox says. She says that the production operators are being hired from the Spokane market.
Hiring engineers has been more of a challenge, Cox says. She says that competition for engineers both nationally and internationally is incredibly stiff.
Agilent, which was formed last year when Hewlett-Packard strategically realigned itself into two fully independent companies, consists of H-Ps former measurement and components businesses. Cox says that Palo Alto, Calif.-based Agilent and H-P are expected to be completely separated by June 2.
Agilent announced in February that within the next three to five years, its Spokane operation will be transformed from a manufacturing site into a research-and-development and engineering location.
At this point, that is a longer-term proposition, Cox says of the move away from manufacturing here. We still have our hands very full with the high order rate were currently experiencing.
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