On February 8, TEKNIA Group, based in Nagoya, Japan, announced that it will open a marketing and research office in Charleston to explore the possibility of building an advanced manufacturing facility in West Virginia in the immediate future. Company officials selected West Virginia for its first North American operation (called JPN Precision LLC), currently located in the business incubator space, owned by the Charleston Area Alliance. The precision machining and manufacturing company produces specially-fabricated metal parts for numerous industries, including some of the largest aerospace companies in the
Executives from TEKNIA, including Hiroshige Takahashi, the company's current CEO, and his father Hirokazu Takahashi, first visited West Virginia in September of
2002 as part of the DRWV Foundation's four-day Aerospace Trade Mission, organized in partnership with
the West Virginia Japan Office and the West Virginia Development Office. This mission included tours and meetings with aerospace executives in the state's Eastern Panhandle, Morgantown and the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex in Clarksburg. This past relationship was the impetus behind TEKNIA's decision to open an office in
Following the 2002 mission, Hiroshige Takahashi, and his son Kazuki Takahashi, the fourth and fifth generation of TEKNIA, met again with staff from the West Virginia Development Office and the West Virginia Japan Office
in May of 2015 in Japan, prompting a return trip to
West Virginia by father and son in the fall.
"The decision by TEKNIA Group to choose West Virginia for its first North American operation is indicative of the long-standing, strong relationship between Japan and
West Virginia. The DRWV Foundation is proud to continue to play an integral role in attracting world-class Japanese companies like JPN Precision to the state. I look forward to working with JPN Precision to ensure its growth in the Mountain State," said Senator Joe Manchin.
Hiroshige Takahashi said that he has been impressed with the work ethic of the people of West Virginia, the cooperation and assistance from local and state officials, and the resources provided by the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, Charleston and Huntington. RCBI could ultimately help to deliver highly-skilled engineers if the company decides to open up a manufacturing facility in the state, and could assist the company with creating prototypes for potential customers.
Japanese investment in the state totals more than $2.05 billion, with 3,317 jobs created. JPN Precision is the twenty-first Japanese company to locate in the state.