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 user 2006-07-11 at 10:40:00 am Views: 53
  • #15958

    Print-toner plant plans will add 21 Salem jobs
    Japan-based maker will double workers in local expansion
    A Japan-based manufacturer of toner for printer cartridges intends to scale up its Salem plant and double its local work force.IMEX America plans a $5 million plant expansion at Fairview Industrial Park that will bring 21 jobs to the area, company officials said Wednesday. IMEX disclosed its plans for Salem during Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s trade mission to Japan.Lisa Earls, the accounting and administrative manager for IMEX’s Salem operation, said that the building and equipment upgrade would increase the company’s local work force from 21 to 42 employees.”What we’re trying to do is just about double the capacity in the plant,” Earls said.The company hopes to begin construction as soon as possible, she said. Details about the timing and the expansion’s square footage still are under discussion.The toner made in Salem is used primarily by other companies to refill recycled printer cartridges, as well as to fill new cartridges. IMEX also makes toner for copy machines.Kulongoski praised IMEX for making Salem part of its business strategy.”This investment means more jobs for the Salem area and a stronger role for Oregon in a vital industry that makes our environment healthier and cleaner,” Kulongoski said.IMEX has applied for enterprise-zone property-tax abatements for its plant expansion, local economic development officials said. The company might be eligible for the three-year tax break on new construction and equipment because it is in an enterprise zone.Four years ago, IMEX built a 25,000-square-foot plant in Salem. At the time, the $11 million plant was celebrated by economic-development officials as a rare bonus in the midst of a recession.Salem landed IMEX’s factory for a variety of reasons, including land prices, tax breaks from the city’s enterprise zone and the quality of the work force.One element that distinguished Salem from competing locations in the Portland area was soy-sauce maker Yamasa Corp. USA, another Japan-based company and Fairview occupant.IMEX and Yamasa executives got to know one another through a group known as “Shokookai,” which state economic-development officials describe as the equivalent of a chamber of commerce for Japanese executives in Oregon.IMEX purchased land for its Salem plant from Yamasa.

    IMEX Will Invest $5 Million to Upgrade Salem Plant

    Governor Kulongoski has led a delegation of Oregon business leaders and state trade officials to Japan to promote Oregon products and encourage investment by Japanese companies in Oregon communities
    (TOKYO, Japan) – Japan’s IMEX corporation, which has manufactured refilled toner and ink cartridges in Salem since 2002, will invest $5 million in its Salem facility to upgrade the plant and expand its operations, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski announced after meeting with the company president in Tokyo.“Your company is helping move America in the right direction by encouraging consumers to recycle computer products,” the Governor told IMEX president Akira Kitaoka and top company executives.“Oregon supports industries like yours-environmentally sustainable companies that help create a cleaner environment and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. We need to keep computer products out of the landfills, and you’re helping us do that. You’re also helping consumers save money.”Every recycled printer cartridge saves 2.5 liters of oil, Kitaoka told members of the Governor’s trade delegation. Kitaoka wants to increase its share of the American market for recycled cartridges, and part of the challenge is to let consumers know the company is environmentally friendly, he said. After operating for four years in Salem, IMEX turned a profit this year, spurring the investment of $5.0 million to upgrade its manufacturing facility and launch an aggressive effort to increase its American market share.Japan is a leading trading partner with Oregon, and a hundred Japanese companies employ more than 10,000 Oregon workers.“IMEX is a great corporate citizen, and I’m excited that its experience in Oregon has prompted its management to invest even more in its Oregon operation,” Governor Kulongoski said. “This investment means more jobs for the Salem area and a stronger role for Oregon in a vital industry that makes our environment healthier and cleaner.”