Isuzu Opens Training & Parts Facility in Jenkins Twp. CenterPoint Trade Park
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., the distributor of America’s best-selling low cab forward trucks, officially opened their training and parts distribution center in CenterPoint Commerce & Trade Park East, Jenkins Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania at their new Center of Excellence, Grand Opening on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
This marks the first time Isuzu has combined a training center and a modern parts distribution center under one roof. The 134,442-square-foot building, which was developed on speculation by Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, named “Isuzu Truck University,” marks an importance to Isuzu like no other. So significant that Isuzu’s top worldwide executives attended and spoke at the event. These include Shigeji (Ziggy) Sugimoto, Chairman of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., Shaun Skinner, President of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. and Jun “Eddie” Nagasaka, vice president of vehicle and parts operations.
Inside the impressive facility, Mr. Nagasaka said 100,000 square feet will be used for parts distribution and 30,000 square feet will serve as a training and technical assistance center. Mr. Nagasaka said they chose the site in Jenkins Twp. because the northern region of the United States covers 24 percent of total Isuzu units in operation, 29 percent of parts sales and 27 percent of total dealers. Major cities like Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Baltimore are easily accessible from the site, he said.
“Simply put, I’m saying this area is important, and it has nice hotels and restaurants!” - Mr. Nagasaka told a room filled with area leaders, business people and Isuzu dealers.
The parts distribution center will initially employ 13 and Mr. Nagasaka expects annual parts sales will amount to about $45 million.
Isuzu Truck University will serve Isuzu dealerships in the eastern United States. Certified Isuzu technicians will come to the facility for advanced training on internal mechanical components and operations of diesel and gasoline engines. Two classes will be held weekly and they expect about 24 to 30 people will attend.
“We have long had a need for a training center in the eastern half of the country. The CenterPoint property is a flex building, so it’s perfect for our needs now, and it’s large enough to accommodate future growth. And it helps that that it’s in a location that’s both convenient and beautiful.” - Brian Tabel, Executive Director of Marketing for Isuzu Commercial Truck of America.
Isuzu’s new Center of Excellence will create 50 jobs over the next few years, said Shaun Skinner, president of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, who drove into the grand opening event in a 2018 Isuzu Class 6 FTR truck, with the Chairman of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Shigeji (Ziggy) Sugimoto, in the passenger seat.
Jobs will include trainers of a highly technical nature, field service engineers and technical assistants as well as staff in the parts distribution center and office staff, Mr. Skinner said. In addition to the jobs being created, the training facility also is important to the community and contributing to the economy when technicians stay in Northeastern Pa’s hotels and dine in local restaurants when they come for training.
“We are thrilled that a large international leading company like Isuzu has chosen Northeastern PA. They decided on our region because of our close proximity to major markets. We hope to see many more companies follow their lead when looking for an east coast facility.” - John L Augustine III, President & CEO of Penn’s Northeast
Jerry Champi, past president of the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce, thanked Isuzu on its decision to open a first of its kind facility in CenterPoint and said he is optimistic that many chamber members and other local businesses will benefit from the project. “We expect the technicians who travel to our area for training will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop at a variety of local retailers,” he said. “We envision a significant economic spinoff from Isuzu’s move to our area”. The competition was tough. Isuzu officials looked at multiple buildings in many communities and he is thrilled company officials chose to be part of the Pittston area business community.
The real estate transaction was coordinated by Mericle Vice President Bill Jones and Travis Boyd of CBRE’s Newport Beach, California office and Bill Wolf of CBRE’s Allentown, Pennsylvania office.
Mericle President and CEO Rob Mericle thanked Isuzu’s executives for choosing CenterPoint. Isuzu selecting the most visible building in the park may help Mericle attract additional tenants.
“Tens of thousands of people pass by the building every day on Interstate 81. We think seeing a name as prominent as Isuzu on the front of the building will help validate CenterPoint as a great place to do business.” - Rob Mericle, President & CEO of Mericle Commercial Real Estate
Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services developed CenterPoint Commerce & Trade Park starting in 2006. With the addition of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, the park is home to 38 tenants which together employ approximately 4,500 people. There are 27 buildings in the park that total 6.75 million square feet.
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