Gov. Rick Scott was at Arthrex headquarters in North Naples on Thursday to announce the medical device manufacturing company’s plans to add 350 new jobs at its plant in Ave Maria.
The new jobs are needed for a $47 million expansion with 218,000 square feet of building space being added for the manufacturing and finishing sites. The projects should be completed by December.
The governor lauded Arthrex founder and president Reinhold Schmieding for his industry leadership in medical device manufacturing and for the company’s steady job creation. In 2015, Arthrex created 260 new jobs, Scott said.
“Congratulations to Reinhold (Schmieding) but everybody here,” Scott said, standing outside the company’s headquarters on Creekside Boulevard with dozens of Arthrex employees gathered around. “You have built an unbelievable company. We have success all across our state but I’m not sure there are as many companies that have done what Reinhold has done and what all you have done right here at Arthrex.”
Schmieding said Arthrex has added 1,094 new employees since Scott took office in January 2011. He thanked the governor for his leadership in creating a business friendly environment for companies to create jobs.
“We appreciate your policies and your positive impact, like the sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment,” Schmieding said. “This exemption gives Arthrex the confidence to once again invest millions of dollars into manufacturing, as a result to add even more jobs in Florida. Let’s keep growing jobs for years to come by making this exemption permanent.”
Scott said the state has created more than one million jobs in five years and the unemployment rate is at a seven-year low, helped by cutting taxes 50 times and cutting 4,000 regulations and also streamlining the permitting process.
The state cut the sales tax on machines and equipment for three years to help companies grow and the cut needs to be made permanent, the governor said. Putting money back in the pockets of business owners enables companies to expand, Scott said.
Collier County Commissioner Penny Taylor, County Manager Leo Ochs and Dudley Goodlette, chairman of the board of directors for the Greater Naples Area Chamber of Commerce, attended the event.
“It’s just another indication of the leadership of Arthrex,” Ochs said. “We couldn’t be prouder or more appreciative of Mr. Schmieding’s work and what his entire workforce has done for Collier County.”
Scott has attended numerous milestones for Arthrex, including the groundbreaking in April 2012 for the $25 million manufacturing plant with 190,000 square feet of space off Oil Well Road in Ave Maria. The governor also attended the dedication ceremony in October 2013, a couple of months after the plant opened with 500 employees, of which 200 were new hires.
The 21-acre site was donated to Arthrex by Barron Collier Cos., the developer of Ave Maria.