Sekisui SPI, a part of parent company Sekisui Chemical Ltd., was the first Japanese company to invest in the U.S. after World War II. It invested in a plastics facility in Hazleton in 1963. Fifty years later, the company remains committed to growing in Pennsylvania.
On August 18th, Sekisui SPI held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their newest manufacturing plant in Bloomsburg. Secretary Dennis Davin of DCED attended and spoke at the ceremony, accompanied by Neil Weaver, Executive Deputy Secretary, and David Briel, Executive Director of International Investment at the Office of International Business Development. Sec. Davin’s comments highlighted Pennsylvania’s commitment to attracting and retaining international business and remarked that more than 6,100 foreign companies that have expanded to Pennsylvania have created more than 250,000 jobs. DCED joined Sekisui leadership during the recent Team Pennsylvania-supported Philadelphia Orchestra Mission to Japan, to serve as a testimonial to new investment prospects about the strength and support PA offers to foreign companies.
The new Sekisui SPI facility will create 25 new manufacturing jobs in addition to the 200 jobs at the existing manufacturing facility three miles away. In Japan, the manufacturing industry is held in very high regards. They embrace manufacturing principles of Kaizen (continuous improvement) and Monozukuri (making high quality products). Japanese manufacturers treat the opportunity to manufacture as an honor – they embrace the opportunity to create products that make people’s lives better. Sekisui SPI places a strong emphasis on developing its employees professionally and personally; they invest in ample safety trainings, apprenticeship programs, continuing education and innovative benefits programs. Additionally, Sekisui SPI makes time to celebrate personal successes and milestones of employees; a birth in the family, graduating college or even the purchase of a new car.
Sekisui SPI cares about their work, the people who work for them and the State of Pennsylvania. They are looking forward to utilizing their new plant to help continue to grow – they currently export 45% of the products they produce in Bloomsburg and have clients in 33 countries around the world. They hope to increase the number of countries they export to as well as the quantity they are exporting.