By Owen Ryan
THE number employed at Zimmer Orthopedic Manufacturing Limited has reached a new high following the addition of dozens of new staff in recent weeks.
General Manager Adrian Furey said that the company has had an excellent experience since coming to Shannon six years ago, leading to its expansion.
“Quarter one is nearly over and during it we have added around 30 jobs which has taken us over the 300 mark this week,” said Mr Furey.
He said that the Shannon operation compares very favourably with Zimmer’s other manufacturing sites around the world. “It has been a very positive experience in Shannon, we like how the plant is set up, it’s regarded as one of the best plants in the network at the moment, which is a nice place to be.”
He said that locating in Shannon offered the company a number of advantages. “I think the corporation tax is a positive for the country, I think the available workforce is a positive, the fact that there are a lot of third level institutions nearby is also important. One thing that has helped in the last few years is that it has become a lot more competitive, which is also very positive.”
Mr Furey said that Ireland’s exit from the bailout programme is also helping to make the country more attractive for investment. “There’s no doubt that all the media attention around it has definitely helped from a corporate point of view when people look at Ireland, there’s no doubt.”
He also said that the company enjoyed a good relationship with Shannon Development, and is now working well with IDA Ireland, who are now working to attract multinational investment to the Mid West. “We had a very good relationship with Shannon Development. The IDA team are based in Limerick and they’ve already been out here and I imagine it will be a very similar relationship. Shannon Development and the IDA always worked very closely and I think it’ll be just as positive as it was before.”
Helen Downes of Shannon Chamber said that the already strong portfolio of international companies that have come to the Free Zone is helping create further momentum. “Shannon has a very successful track record, there are over 7,500 people employed in the Shannon Free Zone in over 100 companies, so it’s a very solid base. The industries include ICT, engineering, aviation, financial services, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. There are really respected names which gives a great incentive to potential investors to come in.”
Zimmer is a worldwide leader in musculoskeletal health care. It’s global team of more than 8,500 employees works to provide solutions that support orthopaedic surgeons and clinicians to restore mobility and treat arthritis and traumatic injuries. Its products are used in more than 100 countries.
As well as Shannon it has facilities in Puerto Rica, Switzerland, California, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas.