HAZLE TOWNSHIP -- A company called IRIS USA will be opening a manufacturing and distribution facility in Hazle Township. It is expected to add about 100 jobs.
"If you look everywhere, there is poverty everywhere," Sunny Jo of Hazleton said. "There's people looking for jobs. I always feel like friends of mine are asking, 'Hey sunny, do you know if this place is hiring or that place is hiring?' So, I think something is coming in the area to give people a place to work because they want to work."
IRIS USA makes plastic organizational products, including storage bins. The company plans to build a 500,000 square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility. It's partnering with the state and with CAN DO, Hazleton's economic development agency.
"It's another company coming in bringing family-sustaining incomes," CAN DO publicist David Haupt said. "So, they'll be upwards of another hundred families that will be able to gain employment and make a good wage."
IRIS is headquartered in Japan. It has facilities around the world and in the western U.S., but this will be the first one on the east coast. CAN DO said the company was offered tax incentives to build there but was also interested in the Humboldt Industrial Park for its location.
"They could've gone to New Jersey," Haupt said. "They could've gone to a whole bunch of places, but they chose Humboldt Industrial Park which is right on (Interstate) 81 and close to (Interstate) 80 which makes it great access to market.
IRIS USA plans a groundbreaking next month, some of the company's officials from Japan plan to be there. IRIS expects the new facility near Hazleton to be completed sometime next year.