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Virginia Governor McDonnell Announces MicroAire Expansion

RICHMOND, April 15 – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that MicroAire Surgical Instruments will invest $8 million to expand its operations in Albemarle County for the development of new products and for surgeon-training facilities.

Governor McDonnell with a MicroAire Series 7000 Sagittal Saw

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McDonnell said, “MicroAire Surgical Instruments has a longstanding record as a top manufacturer in the medical device industry, and has remained a valued corporate partner in Albemarle County since 1995. MicroAire employs 120 people at its Albemarle headquarters and with this project will add another 51 jobs, paying above the average prevailing wage, for the development of new products.”

“Close proximity to its company headquarters and R&D opportunities with the University of Virginia made Albemarle County an easy choice for MicroAire’s expansion project,” said Jim Cheng, Secretary of Commerce and Trade. “With its new product development plans and history of success I am confident that the company will continue its remarkable growth.”

MicroAire is a made-in-America success story that could serve as a model for the new economy. The medium-sized, privately owned company designs, manufactures and distributes highly specialized medical instruments to a global marketplace, all from its facility in Albemarle County. MicroAire products include precision, powered instruments for joint replacement, sterile-packaged orthopedic accessories such as blades and drills, endoscopic treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome, and a powered liposuction system with applications for adipose-derived stem cell therapies.

Their latest product, called Endotine, is one of the main reasons behind MicroAire’s expansion. The product provides an alternative to sutures during facial surgery, and it must be manufactured in a specialized environment with temperature and humidity controls and high-efficiency air filters, so that it can be sold in pre-sterilized packages. This type of manufacturing is performed in a facility called a “Clean Room,” which has extremely low levels of environmental pollutants such as airborne microbes, aerosol particles and chemical vapors.

MicroAire plans to convert the 73,000-sq.-ft. space to a high-tech manufacturing facility.

MicroAire was the first company to sell pre-sterilized disposable accessories for orthopedic instruments, so the company already has a Clean Room at its current facility. With the expansion into a new facility, the company will double its Clean Room capacity, and will add significantly to its machining, assembly, inspection and repair spaces. The new building also provides space for new-product development labs and surgeon-training facilities.

“MicroAire has been a part of this community for more than 15 years,” said company President George Saiz. “We feel especially fortunate to have found the ideal space for our expansion so close to our current facility. We know that MicroAire’s success comes directly from the talent and ingenuity of our employees, who come to us from all around the Charlottesville region, so we definitely wanted to stay in the area as we grow. Expanding in Albemarle County makes a lot of sense for us. This is simply a great place to do business.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Albemarle County and the Thomas Jefferson Partnership for Economic Development to secure the MicroAire project for Virginia. Governor McDonnell approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Albemarle County with the project. Through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Department of Business Assistance (VDBA) will provide funding and services to support the company’s recruitment and training activities.

“We are very pleased to welcome and support MicroAire’s expansion into the facility on Airport Road, which allows for reuse of an existing building and provides additional capital investment and quality job opportunities for local residents,” said Ann Mallek, Albemarle Board of Supervisors Chairman. “MicroAire has been an outstanding corporate citizen for more than 15 years and we look forward to their continued success and exciting new commercial ventures as a valued Albemarle County business.”

MicroAire Surgical Instruments, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of surgical products in four key areas: Orthopaedic Power Instruments, Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Release, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Value Disposable Products. MicroAire is a team, dedicated to enhancing quality of life by providing innovative surgical solutions that improve surgeon and patient outcomes. For more information, visit www.microaire.com.

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