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Applied Materials to add up to 200 new jobs

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | November 24, 2021 12:00 AM

Applied Materials plans to add as many as 200 new jobs in Kalispell with its expansion into a new manufacturing facility in Evergreen, Brian Aegerter, the company's general manager for Montana, said Monday.

On Oct. 8, the technology company officially took ownership of the former Shopko store at 1370 U.S. 2 East.

After substantial renovations, Applied Materials is expected to move into the former department store in March 2022.

Applied Materials manufactures equipment for semiconductors that are used in an assortment of devices, including smartphones and computers.

The global company, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, acquired Kalispell-based Semitool, formerly a competitor, in 2009.

Applied Materials currently operates two Montana facilities, one on Reserve Drive and another on Birch Grove Road.

Approximately 600 people currently work at Applied Materials’ two Kalispell locations, and Aegerter said the company has 90 local openings currently available.

With the new building, the company will add 150 to 200 new jobs.

It will also increase its footprint to 350,000 total square feet in Kalispell.

Aegerter said Applied Materials is working hard to retain current employees and bring new workers into the valley to support the company’s growth.

“Workforce growth is top of mind for us right now,” Aegerter said.

Another high priority is increasing Applied Materials’ charitable impact in the community.

Applied Materials conducts various philanthropic initiatives throughout the year, and those are expected to grow with the upcoming expansion.

Last year, Applied Materials raised $71,000 in its Fight Against Hunger and another nearly $119,000 for its grant program, which is distributed twice annually to local organizations such as the Flathead Warming Center, Foy’s to Blacktail Trails and the ImagineIF Library Foundation.

Applied Materials' Senior Director of Communications Ricky Gradwohl said the results in the upcoming year are expected to be similar to last year.

“We’re trying to really help expand our benefit within the valley,” said Aegerter.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.

This story was corrected to state Applied Materials raised nearly $119,000 for its grant program, rather than $170,000.