Canon first announced plans to expand in Virginia on May 1, 2008. Exactly one year later, building construction is complete and the new facility, which will produce cartridges for the North American market, will be operational by the end of the year. With assistance from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Canon’s investment will exceed $640 million in major expansion projects in the Hampton Roads area that are expected to create more than 1,000 new jobs.
A second expansion project, completed in January 2009, added 70,000 square feet at Industrial Resource Technologies, Inc. (IRT) located in Gloucester County, Virginia. This expansion will allow IRT to increase its efforts in the recycling and reclaiming of toner cartridges and related materials.
"Today’s announcement symbolizes Canon’s commitment to continue U.S.-based manufacturing operations in the Virginia area," said Joe Adachi, president and chief executive officer, Canon U.S.A. "By producing, selling, collecting and recycling cartridges locally, we reduce the need to transport products around the world, which allows us to have a positive environmental impact by helping to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce energy consumption and help preserve environmental resources."
An important component of the expansion project’s success has been the ability to quickly hire and develop a highly skilled and technical workforce. With the announcement of the expansion in 2008, partnerships were established between Canon Virginia and a network of workforce development resources throughout Southeastern Virginia. This alliance included the Virginia Community College System, local schools and the Virginia Department of Business Assistance, among others, who assisted with the development of a Technical Training Academy, designed to equip Canon Virginia’s and the IRT’s growing workforce with the skills necessary to support advanced manufacturing and product repair operations. More than 300 current and new employees have been trained at Canon’s Workforce Development Center. The training center is located within a mile of the Canon Virginia campus.
Takayoshi Hanagata, president and chief executive officer, Canon Virginia and IRT, added, "Our relationships with the state, local officials and the community have been invaluable. Their support and involvement with our company has enabled us to grow and continually meet changing market demand."