JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A Denmark-primarily based technologies firm is set to open up a robotics assembly facility in Johnstown in September. UXV Technologies is preparing to seek the services of 15 nearby people today.
Johnstown Area Regional Industries President and CEO Linda Thomson said she sees additional opportunity for Danish businesses to grow in Johnstown.
And that is mostly thanks to an immigrant from Denmark to Johnstown, Jesper Nielsen, who has a passion for economic enhancement.
Nielsen had no direct connections to Danish tech corporations, but he made a phone contact 8 years in the past to a refrigerator salesman back residence in Denmark, who set him in touch with a person he performed cards with. That individual, the salesman explained, just might be capable to aid Nielsen get the word out about Johnstown.
That connect with led Nielsen to a 45-moment scheduled assembly with the CEO of the Center for Defence, Space & Safety – or CenSec, for small.
CenSec is a coalition of companies in Denmark associated in the defense, homeland protection, aerospace and transportation industries.
Just after environment a assembly with CenSec, Nielsen contacted Thomson at JARI, a nonprofit economic improvement firm for enterprises and communities in Somerset and Cambria counties.
Around the several years, CenSec President Klaus Bolving has participated in the protection market expo Showcase for Commerce in Johnstown and has shaped a partnership with JARI and Thomson.
CenSec has turn out to be a frequent group in attendance for the Showcase.
The contingent from Denmark has grown each 12 months.
In 2022, the Danish deputy ambassador and the deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Division of Local community and Economic Advancement signed an arrangement to collaborate on strength and protection initiatives at the Showcase for Commerce push conference.
That exact calendar year, CenSec and JARI signed an international cooperation agreement to advance shared interests in pursuit of global alternatives for companies and emerging companies.
“Jesper designed the introduction to CenSec by a family good friend and was on the initial get in touch with among Klaus and me,” Thomson mentioned.
“He also attended the first Danish Defence Conference with me in Aalborg, Denmark.
“Since then, Jesper and his wife, Amy, have co-hosted and assisted with Danes’ travel to Johnstown in excess of the a long time. They are part of our staff.”
Nielsen, 41, at first frequented Johnstown a lot more than 20 decades in the past as an trade university student for a year.
Whilst he returned to Denmark soon after that yr, he subsequently returned to marry his spouse, Amy Croyle, of Somerset County. The couple labored to set every single other by way of college at Pitt-Johnstown, and alongside one another they opened Croyle-Nielsen Therapeutic Associates in 2013 – a company of psychological and behavioral health and fitness products and services, wellness providers and a assortment of solutions for older people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Their company has grown to employ more than 100 people today, and it provides products and services not only in Cambria and Somerset counties, but also all through western Pennsylvania.
Nielsen turned enthusiastic to more bolster Johnstown’s economy soon after attending a 2015 financial advancement conference hosted at Pitt-Johnstown.
Nielsen was disappointed by a depressing dialogue of economic development projects that had fallen by for the city, which was continue to reeling from the 1977 Johnstown Flood and subsequent decline of its metal marketplace.
Nielsen explained he remembers telling himself, “This cannot be the story we are telling ourselves. It just cannot be.”
He reported, “I began thinking, ‘Do I know anyone?’ Just heading by way of a psychological list of individuals that I realized below and back again house, I started off imagining, ‘You know, there is 1 gentleman who lived in our community wherever I grew up and he was in income for a bigger Danish refrigeration firm that did some worldwide stuff.’ He was truly the only person I could imagine of back again house that was in business. So I believed, ‘Well I’m just going to convey to him about Johnstown, tell him about what I want to do listed here and see if he is familiar with anyone.’ And that’s accurately what I did.”
Prior to Nielsen’s first arrival in Johnstown as an 18-12 months-outdated scholar, he had gotten a style of the United States from a film known as “All the Right Moves.”
Seeing how glum and economically frustrated the location was in the film, he mentioned, “I hope I never go to a put like that.”
He subsequently was assigned to a family in Windber and rushed to his parents’ atlas to see if he could discover it.
When he arrived in Windber, the matriarch of his host family members, who owned a online video retail store, stated, “You have to enjoy this film. It was filmed here.”
“My jaw hit the ground. It was ‘All the Proper Moves,’ ” he laughed. “You can’t make this things up.”
If Nielsen’s journey to Johns-city was a movie synopsis, it might say: A son of two academics in Denmark desires to travel to the world’s superpower, the United States, and then winds up landing in a Rust Belt Pennsylvania city, the place he would drop in adore, see a opportunity in the town that a lot of locals had grow to be way too jaded to see and aid bolster the town by sharing it with tech businesses in his dwelling region of Denmark.
Right after the conference with CenSec was made, “I flew in excess of there on my personal dime to meet with the CEO at CenSec, Klaus Bolving,” Nielsen claimed.
“And it was a 45-moment time slot. It turned into two and a 50 % hrs, and you know why? For the reason that he was so energized about everything he listened to about Johnstown. I was telling him about all the items that are listed here, the defense sector, the high tech producing, the well being care, the increased instruction.”
Amid all those various items of the Johnstown surroundings that the Danish corporations located attractive, the economic progress team at JARI stood out in specific.
“The matter is, when providers from Denmark, for case in point, want to occur into the U.S. to do business enterprise, it is so time- consuming and high-priced for them,” Nielsen reported.
“They don’t know how the U.S. industry functions. They have to determine that out they have to use consultants they have to do all this stuff that expenditures a ton of funds, but we have these types of a fantastic infrastructure here in Johnstown since we have companies that are keen to go in like JARI and get them by the hand when they arrive listed here and demonstrate them how to do small business in the United States, introduce them to people, community, help them get all the various items established up that would if not be 1000’s and countless numbers of dollars and cause them to be reluctant. I was talking to him about this total infrastructure that was here, and his thoughts was blown.”
UXV Systems is preparing to open a 7,000-sq.-foot facility in September at the JARI Small business Park in Richland Township, the company’s director for international general public affairs, Frederik Bergenfelt Friis, claimed in June at the yearly Showcase for Commerce in Johnstown.
Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, UXV Systems is an innovator in drone and robotics systems, and the Johnstown location will be its 1st U.S. web page, Bergenfelt Friis has said.
“UXV has begun manufacturing listed here, and other Danish companies are starting up to see this place, and it’s just thrilling,” Nielsen mentioned.
“For me, the place is any person can do what I did. My moms and dads are lecturers. Sure, we begun a enterprise right here, but I wasn’t specifically well-linked.
“It’s just, ‘Who could possibly I be equipped to get in touch with?’ And I just wish more individuals would think that way. There is so substantially listed here. If they would just say, ‘Who can I inform about it?’ You by no means know.”