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Covidien expands products, workforce

Global health-care products maker adds 100 jobs

Published: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Kyle Grillot – kgrillot@shawmedia.com)
An employee works Tuesday inside the newly created section of Covidien. The sharps-disposal products maker recently relocated a subsidiary in Texas to its Crystal Lake facility, adding about 100 jobs.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Covidien’s Crystal Lake facility has been adding jobs and product lines as part of an ongoing expansion project that highlights a busy year for the recently named business champion of McHenry County.

The global health-care products maker already has constructed a 38,000-square-foot processing room that houses the facility’s new syringe product line. The expanded role complements the facility’s existing operation of manufacturing sharps-disposal products, said Rui dos Santos, Crystal Lake plant manager.

Roughly 100 jobs from a Covidien Texas subsidiary are being created to help accommodate the facility’s expanded operation. The extra jobs and new equipment should be fully added by next fall, dos Santos said.

“This expansion is helping achieve greater visibility and capabilities within the Crystal Lake plant,” he said.

“That’s something we are very proud of, and we are very pleased that our corporate leadership in Covidien has entrusted us with such a responsibility.”

The local plant’s track record with larger projects, its location in the United States and its dedicated workers were all factors that allowed the Crystal Lake facility to expand, dos Santos said.

The plant already has hired some of the new workers. Production-line workers, quality technicians, material handlers, and supervisors will be added for the new syringe production.

“It’s a mix of professional expertise, as well as hourly employees,” dos Santos said. “It’s a spread of professional expertise – all the way to semi-skilled workers to people who are supporting the line directly.”

The plant’s infrastructure investment into the expansion allowed them to add the processing room, known at the facility as the clean room.

Workers are required to wear gowns, gloves and hair nets inside the room to ensure no bacteria are contaminating the syringes. The room also contains a high-quality air filtration system to ward off bacteria, dos Santos said.

“We need Grade A environmental controls to ensure that those products are produced in the right environment,” he said.

The changes cap off a year that earned the local Covidien operation a countywide honor. The McHenry County Economic Development Corp. earlier this fall named the plant one of county’s four business champions for 2013.

Aside from the expansion project, Covidien also laid the groundwork for a new apprenticeship program targeted to recent high school graduates from Crystal Lake District 155.

Two recruits will kick off the program in January. Covidien supplies a tuition reimbursement for those graduates interested in a technical engineering career at Covidien.

The expansion project, infrastructure investment, and the internship program were all reasons why Covidien became a countywide business champion this year, said Pam Cumpata, president of the McHenry County Economic Development Corp.

“Covidien has made significant capital investments in the county, relocated a highly technological operation to the county, and worked diligently in developing an internship program with our high schools,” Cumpata said.

About Covidien

• Located at 815 Tek Drive, Covidien’s Crystal Lake facility manufactures sharps-disposal products and recently added syringe production

• Contact the plant at (815) 444-2500

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