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Agilent to expand Wilmington labs

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Agilent Technologies is starting a $7 million expansion at its Wilmington-area campus to meet growing service demand. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Agilent Technologies, a developer of equipment and software for laboratories across a variety of industries, is launching a $7 million expansion of its Wilmington-area campus in order to keep up with its growing work.

The expansion will also lead to the creation of six new, highly paid chemist jobs.

Gregory MacKenny, a vice president at Agilent Technologies, discusses the investment with the Council on Development Finance on Monday. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

Gregory MacKenny, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s supplies division, noted that the increase in research and testing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has created new revenue growth opportunities.

“We’ve been in the forefront of helping discover new drugs, treatments and testing to continue to take a look at innovating and providing ways for our customers to really improve the quality of life for everyone around the world,” he told the state’s investment board, the Council on Development Finance (CDF), on Monday. “We have been growing quite a bit, and so some of this is to get ahead of that as well.”

One of Delaware’s 50 largest employers, Agilent has more than 900 employees working at a Little Falls campus just west of Wilmington city limits and a Newport manufacturing facility. The Delaware operations focus on the $37 billion, publicly traded company’s chemical analysis business.

The new labs will be the first new addition to the three-story, 354,000-square-foot Little Falls campus since Agilent occupied it nearly 20 years ago.

“We are continuing to look at not only having additional capabilities, but also how we attract talent,” MacKenny said, noting that state-of-the-art labs would be a selling point.

Agilent employs scientists who develop some of the chemistry that goes into its products, who do verification of initial testing, and who work with clients on their needs and to refine their products and processes, among other roles, he explained.

To support the expansion, CDF approved a $210,000 capital expenditure grant to back the lab construction and a $93,330 grant to back the hiring of the employees.

Without the expansion project, Agilent was reportedly considering other facilities in its national network for the additional capacity. MacKenny noted that they are still completing architectural design for the new space, but Agilent would try to utilize Delaware contractors in the work.

In a statement released after the vote of the CDF, Gov. John Carney heralded the investment.

“We are excited for Agilent Technologies’ expansion and modernization of their lab space, bringing new jobs to their facilities in New Castle County,” he said. “Delaware has a long tradition of expertise in the field of chemistry. This investment shows that Delaware remains a leader in innovative development.”

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