By Tiffany Lam Special to the Almanac
Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, visited two manufacturing companies -- Acclarent and Qbotix -- on O'Brien Drive in Menlo Park on Wednesday.
She was there to promote local job creation and a bill called the "Make It In America Act," backed by House Democrats, that would provide tax incentives for job creation.
Acclarent manufactures medical devices for ear, nose and throat patients. Scott Chamness, senior manager of Acclarent's research and development group, led the Acclarent tour through its research and development labs. He gave a demonstration of the company's balloon sinuplasty device, which treats sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses).
Qbotix manufactures robotic solar tracking systems. Wasiq Bokhari, CEO of the company, led the tour and showcased the robots, which move solar panels to position them relative to the sun's angle to produce the maximum amount of energy.
Rep. Speier's comments and questions focused on job opportunities created by the two companies.
Acclarent has about 400 employees, one-third of them from the Peninsula. It is working to develop a program that teaches local residents the skills needed in biomedical and technology fields. Qbotix has about 40 employees, with an internship program of 15 people.