Apex Resource Technologies Inc. is expanding its medical-device capabilities with the help of a $5 million financing package developed through Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp., a private, non-profit lender.
Pittsfield, Mass.-based Apex, which does engineering, design and injection molding, plans to add 15-20 employees to its staff of 60 in the next 18 months as it expands its workload.
We expect sales as a result of this to grow by 40 percent in the next year. It is very exciting and it's the kind of work that can't be done offshore, said Apex President Don Rochelo in a Nov. 3 telephone interview.
He said he is optimistic that Apex can double its sales in the next five years.
This is probably one of the most important things that has happened to this company. You can bring a company to a certain point and then come to a wall. But this financing breaks that wall and lets us get to the next level, Rochelo said.
Rochelo said Apex's medical customer is an implantable-device company, but he did not say more because of a confidentially agreement. The work is rather significant and it means the hiring of a lot of highly trained professionals, he added.
Apex is adding quality and process personnel as well as a technical writer and a documentation person.
The company, owned by Don and Donna Rochelo, was founded in 1983.
The addition of a 3,000-square-foot Class 100,000 clean room in early 2008 set the stage for current growth. Since then Apex has added three new Niigata presses and plans to add other equipment. Overall it has 23 presses, with clamping forces up to 385 tons.
We've been doing implantable devices since adding the clean room so it is true, 'If you build it, they will come,' he said.
Rochelo credits Pittsfield Cooperative Bank for fashioning an innovative loan structure that combines a traditional mortgage with equity through the New Markets Tax Credit, a federal program for low-income communities.
It's more common to use for real estate development or non-profits, but we are trying to find a way for businesses to create jobs, said Deborah Favreau, senior investment officer at MHIC.
MHIC also worked on the project with Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund Inc. and the city of Pittsfield.
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