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 user 2006-07-11 at 10:42:00 am Views: 82
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    Printer-toner plant plans will add 21 Salem jobs
    Japan-based maker will double workers in local expansion
    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

    IMEX Will Invest $5 Million to Upgrade Salem Plant

    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

    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.”