Medical device manufacturer St. Jude Medical confirmed plans to expand its Arecibo operations through a $3.2 million to add a new production line that will create 150 new jobs starting in January 2014.
Gov. Alejandro García-Padilla, who was on hand for Thursday’s announcement, credited Puerto Rico’s incentives and availability of skilled human capital for making the island “competitive and capable of attracting leading medical device manufacturing companies such as St. Jude Medical to invest and expand their local operations.”
St. Jude first began operations in Puerto Rico in 1987 with a 25,000 square foot facility in Caguas, where it currently manufactures heart valves and vascular closure devices. In September 2007, the company opened its Arecibo plant to produce defibrillators and pacemakers, among other things.
With its latest investment, St. Jude will add the “Eon Mini,” a new product for chronic pain control. The device — the smallest spinal cord stimulator in the market — emits electrical pulses that travel through wires that are inserted into the patient’s spine and interrupt pain signals to the brain. These cables will also be manufactured in Arecibo.
The “Eon Mini” is part of a new line of this type of advanced pain management devices and will spearhead the addition of more lines of this type of product to St. Jude’s local operations. Production of the Eon Mini is being transferred from a St. Jude plant in Texas, the governor said.
While he said that the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company granted St. Jude incentives for job creation over the next five years and construction of the new production line, he did not reveal how much that amount will be.
St. Paul, Minn.-based St. Jude has operations in Caguas and Arecibo that generate more than 1,000 direct jobs and promote millions in purchases from local suppliers, which in turn generate additional indirect and induced jobs, García-Padilla said.