U.S.A. Bloomsburg, PA – August 25, 2016. — SEKISUI Polymer Innovations, LLC hosted the official opening ceremony for their third manufacturing facility on Thursday, August 18th.
The select group who attended the ceremony and plant tour of ‘South Campus’ in Bloomsburg, PA included executives from SPI’s parent company, SEKISUI Chemical Company, representatives from the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Economic and Community Development, including Secretary Dennis Davin, local government officials, key suppliers to the company, and employees.
Although the thermoplastics manufacturing company purchased the 365,000 square-foot facility last year, it recently commissioned the site’s first extrusion line, which is specifically configured to produce KYDEX® Thermoplastics sheet materials used in the aviation interiors market.
The business expansion is a pivotal component of SEKISUI SPI’s success. Moreover, it signifies the first step in a multi-year journey of continuous investment in manufacturing in Pennsylvania. As Ronn Cort, SEKISUI SPI COO & President, explained in his opening remarks, “Our parent company SEKISUI Chemical Co., is intentionally investing in the US. Strengthening our position in Pennsylvania is a direct reflection of our confidence in the North American plastics manufacturing renaissance and our commitment to create careers in manufacturing in Bloomsburg, PA and Holland, MI.”
Foreign direct investment and export dollars: a powerful mix.
SEKISUI SPI exports to 33 countries and is owned by SEKISUI Chemical Co., Ltd. Foreign direct investment and export dollars support and grow our local economies. In 2015, SEKISUI invested $15M in Bloomsburg, PA. That investment will continue in all three of SPI’s facilities. South Campus is the new North American corporate headquarters of SEKISUI Chemical’s global sheet business that includes businesses in Pennsylvania and Michigan. All locations operate 24/7 to support the ongoing growth of SPI’s customers and markets.
Dennis Davin, Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Economic and Community Development, echoed the importance of the event in his address, “Manufacturing has a significant impact on Pennsylvania’s economy. In fact, the industry currently represents $85 billion, or around 12 percent of our economy, ranking Pennsylvania among the top eight states in terms of manufacturing output. As a part of this important industry, SEKISUI contributes directly to the overall well-being of the commonwealth and its residents.”
Said Cort, “This day symbolizes our first step in creating a center of manufacturing excellence in Central PA. The addition of this extrusion line has created 25 highly skilled jobs. Additional jobs will be created as we add more extrusion lines and production resources and expand our customer collaboration center including our designLab® and FSTLab™. We will continue investing in employee development, health, and safety by expanding our trainingDojo. And let’s not forget future generations in manufacturing: we will continue to partner with educational institutions and local manufacturers in providing STEM initiatives and apprenticeships.”
Cort also shared SEKISUI’s dedication to producing and selling materials with regard for environmental protection worldwide. The Bloomsburg and Holland facilities are designated Zero Emissions (which is zero waste to landfill as defined by SEKISUI Chemical’s program). South Campus will also undergo certification as a Zero Emissions facility.
A history of manufacturing in PA
SPI has been providing careers in manufacturing in Bloomsburg since it opened its plant in 1990. The company originally chose Bloomsburg for its location on the I-80 corridor and the North Shore Railroad, its affordable utilities, and its abundant workforce with an unequaled work ethic and innovative spirit.
In 1962, SEKISUI Chemical Co. was the first Japanese manufacturer to establish operations in North America – prior to Toyota or Honda and before Sony came to the United States. In 1963 they made history by opening their first plant in America, in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, just 25 miles from SPI’s present-day Bloomsburg headquarters.
The new South campus
The new site is a 375,000 square foot facility on 56 acres in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, located two miles from company headquarters. The thermoplastic sheet manufacturer’s third facility is the former ALLEN Extruders, LLC located in Holland, Michigan.
Photo 1: Ribbon cutting (L to R: Mike Karr, VP of Operations, Ronn Cort COO & President, SEKISUI SPI; Hajime Kubo, President UIEP Company - SEKISUI Chemical Co., Masaru Noriki, CEO SEKISUI SPI and head of SEKISUI Chemical's Sheet Division
Photo 2: (L to R) State of Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) Secretary Dennis Davin, Ronn Cort, COO & President of SEKISUI SPI, Neil Weaver, Deputy Secretary of DECD, David Briel, Executive Director, Center for Direct Investment, DECD