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New FDA-approved COVID-19 test prompts need for 1,200 workers at Abbott Labs

Abbott Labs is hiring approximately 1,200 permanent and temporary workers at its new site in Westbrook to support the development of its new COVID-19 rapid test.

WESTBROOK, Maine — On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the first rapid coronavirus test that doesn’t need any special computer equipment to get results—the Abbott Laboratory’s test is a 15-minute test that sells for just $5. The portable test is based on the same technology that used to test for the flu, strep throat, and other infections.

Abbott Labs, which has manufacturing facilities in Maine, is hiring approximately 1,200 permanent and temporary workers at its new site in Westbrook to support the development of its new rapid test.

Abbott says about 300 of the positions will be permanent, while more than 900 will be temporary. Workers will help specifically with the production of the new rapid test, called BinaxNOW ™ COVID-10 Ag Card. Many positions don’t require technical experience and can be trained on the job.

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

In March as the coronavirus pandemic was gaining traction in the U.S., the FDA fast-tracked Abbott's rapid testing device ID NOW, prompting demand for production at its Scarborough facility. 

In May, Abbott was hiring around 2,000 workers for their Scarborough facility to keep up with demand. 

To apply for the new jobs at the Westbrook site, email RecruitingProject@abbott.com with the subject line “Westbrook.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.