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Med device firm to add 45 new jobs

A Whitley County medical devices firm is investing $1.9 million and creating up to 45 new jobs by 2017 as it expands operations in Columbia City, officials announced Tuesday.

Sites Medical LLC will lease an additional 8,000 square feet, more than doubling its current 5,000-square-foot footprint in the OrthoVation Center as it begins to offer specialty testing, prototyping, specialty manufacturing and quality control, among other services, this spring.

The company will begin hiring engineers, technicians and inspectors later this year as it expands its workforce by more than five times. The business now employs eight full time.

Greg Stalcup, Sites president and CEO, said wages for the new jobs will average $20 to $25 an hour, depending on the applicant’s experience and the position.

The privately owned research, product development and testing firm had 2013 sales of less than $10 million, he said.

One large client relationship is driving the rapid growth, which in turn will allow the firm to offer more services to smaller clients as well, Stalcup said.

Sites Medical has worked with clients in the sports medicine, joint reconstruction, spine and orthopedic oncology specialties.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has offered Sites Medical up to $350,000 in tax credits on the project. The full amount will be awarded only if the company meets hiring projections.

Whitley County officials have approved a $100,000 loan and tax abatements for the project. The amount wasn’t available Tuesday.

Don Amber, Whitley County commissioner, applauded the expansion plan and seized the opportunity to promote his region.

“This announcement demonstrates once again how companies in Whitley County involved in the medical device sector can grow locally and compete globally,” Amber said in a statement.

Founded in 2008, Sites Medical is one of the firms housed in the business incubation center within MicroPulse Inc. at 5865 E. Indiana 14. Launched in 2010, the OrthoVation Center leases space to orthopedic startups, allowing medical devices manufacturer MicroPulse to support the growth of some of its customers.