By Kevin McKenzie
Smith & Nephew Inc. recently dismantled an office in a Memphis manufacturing plant in Memphis to make way for more computer-controlled machines. Today, 12-hour shifts produce knee implants around the clock, seven days a week.
Demand is strong for the London-based medical device maker’s products in the United States and in faster-growing emerging markets around the globe.
That growth is feeding another high demand — for the machinists, finishers and packagers producing those knee implants in Building H on the low-profile Smith & Nephew campus on Brooks Road.
“Even since the beginning of this year, we’ve probably added 175 people,” said Gene Baker, vice president of Memphis operations for Smith & Nephew. “And we’re not done adding.”
Perhaps surprisingly to some, Baker said the supply of job candidates to choose from is “generally speaking pretty good, better than I expect, I’m encouraged by it, actually.”