Quest Diagnostics told employees Monday that it will eliminate 70 jobs at its Wallingford lab and move another 70 from that location to a new regional facility in Marlborough, Mass., but the moves won’t happen for at least 18 months.
Quest will have three new, smaller labs in Connecticut and will maintain its network of 90 customer service locations around the state, a spokeswoman said.
The moves are part of a new way of organizing labs for Quest, the Madison, N.J.-based medical testing firm with $7.4 billion in yearly sales, by far the industry’s largest. Quest will generally rely on smaller labs, but it will have large, regional labs such as the one in Marlborough, which will serve all of New England.
“This model is designed to provide highly responsive, innovative and comprehensive diagnostic services to physicians and patients everywehere in the state,” Quest spokeswoman Wendy Bost said.
We won’t know until the end of 2014 whether that’s corporate double-talk designed to cover up for a cutback, or a real strategy change. Services will remain transparent for customers but either way, Connecticut appears to be the loser and central Massachusetts the winner when it comes to jobs.
Wallingford could become one of the three smaller lab sites, Bost said — that decision hasn’t happened yet. She didn’t immediately know how many employees now work at the Wallingford lab.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, whose 3rd district includes Wallingford, said she is eager to work with Quest to keep medical laboratory jobs in southern Connecticut.
“I am extremely disappointed that Quest Diagnostics will be closing their Wallingford laboratory. Keeping good, high-skilled jobs in Connecticut has been, still is and always will be a top priority of mine,” DeLauro said in a written statement.