Japanese Medical Equipment Manufacturer Establishes Lehigh Valley Facility

By Colin McEvoy on February 11, 2016

The Nihon Kohden America facility will be build at 1550 Pond Road in South Whitehall Township. (Image courtesy Google Maps.)

The Nihon Kohden America facility will be built at 1550 Pond Road in South Whitehall Township. (Image courtesy Google Maps.)

A Japanese manufacturer and distributor of medical electronic equipment has chosen the Lehigh Valley to build a new East Coast facility, the latest in a growing trend of international companies investing in the region.

Nihon Kohden America, Inc. will establish a 7,000 square-foot facility in South Whitehall Township to provide technical and product support to key installations across the East Coast and support biomedical training classes for consumers.

The project will create 27 new, full-time jobs and allow for the retention of 11 existing jobs over the next three years, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who formally announced the project on Feb. 11.

“Nihon Kohden America’s decision to establish its East Coast facility in Allentown is great news for Pennsylvania,” Wolf said. “The commonwealth’s strategic location makes it a prime spot for businesses to expand and support their growing customer base.”

These newly-created jobs will pay an average salary of $86,296, according to The Morning Call.

The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team in collaboration with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. LVEDC was involved in the project from the early stages, taking Nihon Kohden America representatives on a tour of potential sites and providing information about the region and ways to recruit workers.

“This company is a good example of two areas that we are particularly focused on when it comes to economic growth in the Lehigh Valley,” Cunningham said. “One is foreign direct investment, and the other is the life science research and technology. As our recently-released video indicates, the Lehigh Valley is an innovation hub that offers everything biological and biomedical science companies need to succeed.”

Wilson P. Constantine, CEO of Nihon Kohden America, said although the facility will initially serve as a U.S. technical support call center, it could be expanded to include other functions in the future as customer needs dictate.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the level and quality of service and support we provide to our customers because we know that every minute counts when it comes to patient care,” he said.

Located at 1550 Pond Road, Nihon Kohden America plans to invest $445,000 on the project, which will include tenant improvements, the purchase of equipment, and training for new employees.

The facility will complement the company’s existing West Coast-based facility, allowing for a rapid response to customers across all U.S. time zones.

Nihon Kohden America received a funding proposal from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) that includes $81,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits, a $75,000 Pennsylvania First Program grant, and $22,950 in WEDnetPA funding for employee training, according to the state.

The Governor’s Action Team, which regularly works in collaboration with LVEDC, is a group of economic development professionals who work with businesses that considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.

The Lehigh Valley has become an increasingly strong market for international companies. About one-third of LVEDC’s prospects are from outside the country, and many of the region’s big success stories from the last year are from international companies, including Fuling Plastics USA and Safran.

LVEDC recently prepared international marketing materials for the Lehigh Valley in eight different languages, including Japanese, and sent them to companies in various countries around the world through the DCED’s Office of International Business Development network.

Founded in Japan in 1951, Nihon Kohden is the leading manufacturer, developer, and distributor of medical electronic equipment, with subsidiaries in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. The company’s products are used in more than 120 countries, and it is the largest supplier of electroencephalography products worldwide.

A pioneer in transformational healthcare technology, Nihon Kohden has envisioned, designed, and produced revolutionary devices, such as pulse oximeters, arrhythmia analysis, low-invasive blood volume monitoring and wireless patient monitoring. In the U.S., the company is a trusted source for patient monitoring, sleep assessment, neurology, and cardiology instrumentation solutions.

Life science research and manufacturing has been identified in an economic development study from Atlanta-based Garner Economics as one of the four target sectors for the Lehigh Valley, based on such economic assets as the region’s central location, strong workforce, availability of adequate water and sewer lines to industrial sites, and high relative proportion of residents with bachelor’s degrees in engineering.

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