Office of Governor Gary Locke
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 23, 2002
Contact: Kirsten Kendrick, Governor's Communications Office, 360-902-4136
Alt Contact: Sharon Wallace, Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, 360-725-4019
Gov. Gary Locke Credits Asia Trade Mission with Reopening of Production Facility in Longview
LONGVIEW-- Gov. Gary Locke today credited the state’s recent trade mission to Japan and South Korea for a major economic boost to southwest Washington.
Japan-based Toyocom Devices of America, Inc., has reopened its state-of-the-art synthetic quartz crystal production facility in Longview, Wash., after a seven-month closure. The company had temporarily closed in February due to economic downturns in the United States and Japan.
The reopening is part of Toyocom’s $20 million capital investment in Longview and Cowlitz County. Seven new jobs have been created so far and area leaders hope that 250 more will be added in the future.
Locke said the trade mission made the difference. “The reopening of the Toyocom plant in Longview is a direct result of the face-to-face negotiations that happened in Japan,” he said. “Many important contacts were made during the mission that are already resulting in more opportunities for Washington businesses and more jobs for our citizens.”
Locke led a trade delegation to Japan and South Korea July 20-27. The governor, along with leaders from Longview and Cowlitz County, met with Toyocom officials in Tokyo.
“We are very excited to be reopening in Longview and we are very optimistic about our company’s future,” said Toyocom President Kunihiko Nagai. “Even though we are in difficult economic times, the market for our synthetic quartz has increased dramatically.”
Synthetic quartz crystals are used in devices like computers, cellular phones and digital cameras. Toyocom’s Longview plant is the company’s first crystal-growing facility outside of Japan.
Martha Choe, director of the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development, applauded the move. “Toyocom provides a product that is vital to the high-tech industry, and jobs like these are vital to Cowlitz County and the City of Longview,” she said. “We are very pleased that Mr. Nagai and Toyocom have come back to Washington state.”
Longview City Manager Ed Ivey said, “Toyocom is a great company that brings some economic hope back to our community. We hope this sends a message to other foreign companies that we’re a great place to do business.”
- Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development