A leading American medical devices firm is to establish a base in Athlone with the creation of at least 50 jobs.
It was announced on Wednesday that American Medical Systems (AMS ), with the backing of the IDA, is to invest €4.6 million in the establishment of a manufacturing operation at the IDA Business and Technology Park on the Dublin Road, Athlone.
The announcement came as AMS launched a major recruitment drive for some of the 50 positions on offer. The company also has plans for future expansion in Athlone.
AMS is a leading supplier of medical devices to treat urological and pelvic health conditions, and the new Athlone plant will be a key manufacturing facility for products used in the treatment of incontinence and pelvic floor repair.
The Athlone base is the first manufacturing operation AMS has established outside of the United States. The company said the decision to locate in Athlone was “strongly based on the cluster of leading life sciences companies located here and the opportunity to partner with such companies in the processes carried out by AMS”.
The Irish operation will have full responsibility for all stages in the manufacturing of these products, including sourcing and procuring raw materials, production planning and manufacturing, quality control, sterilisation, final packaging, and shipping to AMS distribution centres in Belgium and the United States.
CEO of the IDA, Barry O’Leary, said the news was “an excellent addition to the Midlands’ medical technology cluster and will have a beneficial impact on direct and indirect employment in the region”.
Welcoming Wednesday’s announcement, mayor of Athlone Cllr Sheila Buckley Byrne said the announcement was “marvellous news for the town”.
“Anything that gives the town a lift in relation to employment is to be welcomed. We have just under 4,000 people signing on the dole in Athlone, and this news gives a lift and gets the word out there that there are companies still interested in locating in Ireland and in Athlone in particular.
“I have always argued that Athlone’s infrastructure is very good in relation to roads, hotels, shops and restaurants, and excellent education facilities, it is a good place for any company to locate.
“All credit has to be given to the IDA who have worked very hard on the ground, and to the town council who invested in the IDA Park.”
She added that there is “ongoing interest in the IDA Park” and that there would be more jobs announcements on the cards in the coming month.
General Election candidate Senator McFadden also welcomed the jobs announcement, saying that “these are the kinds of jobs we need to get our country back on its feet again”.
“The top priority of the next government must be to get people back to work and to stop forced emigration. We have among the best educated workforces in Europe, and we are ready for work.
“I want to strengthen further the capacity of the Midlands to attract jobs in manufacturing. I think there are strategic benefits to working hand in hand with the IDA and the Athlone Institute of Technology to develop the reputation of the Midlands as a centre of excellence in the manufacture of medical technology.” she added.
Local recruitment company Collins McNicholas will be recruiting for several AMS positions in the coming months. For further information see www.collinsmcnicholas.ie/ams