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Arthrex Officially Breaks Ground on New Ave Maria Plant

arth6aA half-dozen ceremonial shovels broke ground Monday morning for a new Arthrex manufacturing facility in Ave Maria that company CEO Reinhold Schmeiding said will employ 500 people by 2016.

“This will bring high-tech, high-wage, non-seasonal work to Southwest Florida,” Mr. Schmeiding told a group of more than 200 business leaders and dignitaries, including Governor Rick Scott.

“Thank you, Reinhold,” Gov. Scott said, “You could have done this anywhere – you did it in Southwest Florida.” Above, r-l, Blake Gable of Barron Collier, Collier County Commissioner Jim Coletta, Mr. Schmeiding, Gov. Scott, incoming Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford and Andy Owen, Arthrex director of manufacturing.

arth2-250The governor, who carried his five-month-old grandson, Auguste, for much of the event (left, with Mr. Schmeiding), said that he wanted to make sure that “this is a state where my grandson can get a great education and a great job.”

Referring to the 500 jobs to be created at the Ave Maria facility, Gov. Scott jokingly asked Mr. Schmeiding to speed up the job creation effort. “I only need about 700,000 more to meet my campaign promises,” he said.

The first phase of the Arthrex development is a $25 million, 190-thousand-square-foot plant that is planned to open in spring, 2013, and employ about 250 full-time workers. A second phase a few years later will add 120,000 square feet and the company said there will be between 400 and 500 new jobs created by 2016. In addition, the construction will employ another 500 people.

arth4aArthrex is one of the most successful business start-ups in Southwest Florida, growing from a two-person operation in 1991 to a company that today has more than $1 billion in annual revenues and employs 1,200 people in Southwest Florida. With the worldwide market for medical devices currently at more than $100 billion, Mr. Schmeiding said, the company’s future potential is unlimited and has the potential to double every three-four years.

Barron Collier Real Estate division President Blake Gable (right, with Mr. Schmeiding), whose company donated 21 acres of land to Arthrex for the plant, paid tribute to four success stories that came together for this development: Barron Collier Sr., “A man without a college education who bought this land in the 30s,” Tom Monaghan, “who grew up in an orphanage and started one of the most successful restaurant businesses,” Gov. Scott, who lived in public housing for part of his life, and Mr. Schmeiding, “who started this business in an apartment.”

“You embody the American dream,” Collier County Commissioner Jim Coletta said to Mr. Schmeiding. “Thank you for making Naples and Ave Maria the site of your American dream.”

arth7aRight, the event attracted heavy media coverage. Below, left, a rendering of the new facility, which will be located just off Oil Well Rd. in Ave Maria.













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