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IRIS USA Bringing 95 Jobs to Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton


Hazle Twp., - IRIS USA, a manufacturer and distributor of injection-molded plastic products will create 95 jobs when it builds a new plant in Humboldt Industrial Park.


IRIS USA plans to purchase a 34-acre site in Humboldt East and soon will begin construction of its first plant on the East Coast, a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility.


The company is investing at least $83.6 million into the project and has committed to the creation of 95 full-time jobs over the next three years, according to news releases issued Wednesday by Gov. Tom Wolf and Penn's Northeast member, CAN DO Inc.


IRIS USA said it is building the new plant in response to strong growth in customer demand, especially in the area of e-commerce. The company manufactures plastic organizational products such as storage containers, pet products, kitchenware and lighting equipment for uses for the home, office, craft and hobby, and pets.


Doc Takahashi, president of IRIS, said the company is partnering with CAN DO and the state on its expansion.


“Everyone in Luzerne County and on the Governor’s Action Team has gone out of their way to be incredibly welcoming and helpful, so it’s easy to see why so many distinguished companies have chosen to locate here. We can’t wait to be part of the Hazle Twp. community,” Takahashi said in the news release issued by Wolf’s office.


CAN DO said its marketing department worked for more than year with the Governor’s Action Team on the project and also were assisted by Penn's Northeast, Hazle Twp., the Hazleton Area School District and Luzerne County, which provided vital tax incentives through the LERTA program.


The school board approved a deal that would let IRIS USA pay a flat school tax of $100,000 a year for 10 years. After that, the company would pay full taxes based on the assessed value of its property.


The state Department of Community and Economic Development assisted with a $237,500 Pennsylvania First grant, a $42,750 WEDnet grant for employee training and $285,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be issued after the new jobs are created.


“Manufacturing has such a strong history in Pennsylvania, and with this expansion, IRIS is helping continue that tradition today,” Wolf said in release from his office. “This facility will be IRIS’ first on the East Coast ... so the fact that they chose Pennsylvania above our competitor states speaks volumes about the strength of our commonwealth as a business destination for manufacturers.”


Kevin O’Donnell, CAN DO’s president and CEO, said the industrial and economic development organization is happy that IRIS chose Greater Hazleton for its newest U.S. manufacturing operation.


“Our great location to market and our dedicated workforce are paying dividends once again for our region,” he said. “Today, companies in Humboldt Industrial Park are employing nearly 10,000 people.”


Kevin added, “This is a perfect example of how our regional marketing effort should work.  Penn’s Northeast generated the lead for its partners and we, as a member of the organization, were able to offer IRIS an ideal site in Greater Hazleton for their manufacturing operations.  We appreciate the work John Augustine has done in making Penn’s Northeast a viable resource for job creation leads within our region.”


O’Donnell said previously that in addition to needing workers in manufacturing, the plant would contain a fully automated processing section operated by robots.


IRIS was founded in 1971 and has its headquarters in Japan. It creates consumer products for both household and commercial use in domestic and international markets including Japan, China, Korea, and the Netherlands.


In 1992 the company incorporated IRIS USA and two years later opened its first U.S. facility in Stockton, California. Since then, IRIS USA has added facilities in Texas, Wisconsin and Arizona. In addition to the United States and Japan, IRIS also operates in China, Korea and Europe.

The company plans a groundbreaking event for the Hazle Twp. facility for late May.

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