Naples-based Arthrex designs and manufactures its cutting-edge medical devices mostly at local plants, but it serves a global clientele via several locations around the world. So, embracing different cultures is essential to its success. As such, the company has initiated a variety of programs and practices that emphasize diversity.

“Arthrex has employed over 1,500 ethnically diverse employees in Southwest Florida since 1991 with a significant economic diversification impact to our state and community,” says Arthrex spokeswoman Lisa Gardiner.

“Our global focus of innovative surgical device products made in Collier County contributes to a higher quality of life for patients and our community.”

The company’s humble roots date back more than 30 years ago in Germany, where founder and President Reinhold Schmieding, who was born in Michigan, began designing arthroscopic instruments on a $20 drafting table. The company grew flourished and Schmieding eventually moved his operation to Naples, where he had visited previously.

Employee numbers blossomed along the way, attracting individuals from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. Its workforce consist of approximately 47 percent minority or protected-class status, which it has achieved recruiting from traditional job boards and niche sources such as the Society for Black Engineers and the Society for Women Engineers .

Arthrex offers employees an array of educational courses to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion. For example, the Language Skills Training Program is for employees interested in learning any one of a number of new languages—Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and English (if English is a second language)—for business needs. There are several more languages spoken among the employees, so the company is looking to expand the program to encourage staff to learn new languages and to find commonalities. This program has also allowed many employees, who otherwise would not have been viable candidates, to advance within the company.

And in the community, Arthrex is the sponsor of the Naples Asian Professionals Association’s Asia Fest, the Council of Hispanic Business Professionals’ CHBO Gala and the NAACP Gala.

“As a leading healthcare technology innovator, we are dedicated to making people’s lives better, and it starts with our employees,” Gardiner says. ”Our commitment to diversity through recruitment, education and other programs allows our employees to grow and succeed in their lives as significant contributors to our community.”

—Phil Borchmann