Micro Equipment Corp. and its affiliate, Gem Computer Products, both headquartered in Atlanta, will open a regional sales and distribution office and a manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City this year.

In a written announcement released Wednesday, officials said the Utah office will cover distribution in the western United States. The company said Salt Lake City was chosen because of its regional shipping location and abundant work force.Larry C. Edwards, a former executive with Novell Data Services and founder of Icon International, has been named vice president and general manager of Micro Equipment's Western Operations..

Edwards said the company has opened a small office in Sandy, 9176 S. 300 West, but a site for the computer manufacturing and assembly plant has not been chosen. The facility will employ about 20 workers.

Micro Equipment is a 7-year-old computer products distributor, while Gem manufactures IBM compatible computers and accessories. The companies have facilities in Atlanta and Taiwan.