International company to hire 250 employees in Kalispell

Print Article

Bob Wilkins, chief executive officer of SoClean, which will open its second United States facility in Kalispell in October.

SoClean, an international medical supply company, is opening its second North American location in Kalispell in October and eventually anticipates having a workforce of “upwards of 250 or more employees.”

Operations in the new Kalispell facility will include “in-bound sales, customer service, information technology support, marketing, programming, different executive levels…and human resources,” according to SoClean Chief Executive Officer Bob Wilkins. “It’s the whole gamut of how you’d see a company run.

“We’re coming here because both [Chief Information Officer] Keith Brown and I have experience with building companies here in the valley,” Wilkins said. The head of the Peterborough, New Hampshire-headquartered company said he started a previous company in Kalispell with about 200 employees in the 1990s. He said Brown also brings local knowledge as a longtime Flathead Valley resident.

SoClean makes and sells automatic cleaning devices for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines, a leading treatment for people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The press release also stated SoClean is “the creator of the world’s first automated CPAP cleaner and sanitizer.”

“SoClean’s been growing,” Wilkins noted. “We looked at Utah, Colorado and Florida” for SoClean’s second North American office. “We felt this was the right place.”

He lauded the area, the people and the attitude here as the main draws for establishing SoClean in Kalispell.

“What a great place to bring people,” he said. “People are just blown away by it.”

Wilkins also stated the majority of its 250 or more employees will be local hires.

“About 95%” will be recruited locally, he said, while a few executives and experienced employees will transfer from the East Coast office.

He recognized bringing on such a large workforce is a significant addition to the local business community and said they are “super excited about it.

“We’re proud to be part of the community,” he added.

Even with such a big endeavor, Wilkins isn’t concerned about potential challenges with hiring or housing a couple of hundred employees. He explained SoClean management is aware of concerns about a shortage of affordable housing in the area, but the company doesn’t foresee this as an issue for its new hires.

“We’ve definitely talked about it and looked into what housing is right now,” he said. “Affordable housing is an issue all around the country…it really wasn’t a big concern. We’re not a low-paying employer,” he pointed out. “We pay good wages.”

He said he feels there are a number of compelling reasons beyond the competitive pay to join the SoClean team. SoClean is “a fabulous company,” according to Wilkins. He described their office as “more of a tech company, a California company” with dog-friendly policies, “fun zones,” amenities and flex time. He said their goal is to have “longevity for employees. We believe in getting people in, training them and moving them upward.

“Med tech and MedTech Direct is starting to happen,” he noted, referring to a process by which consumers purchase medical technology directly instead of through a medical retailer or other third party. There’s also a growing market for CPAP cleaning machines, he said, and the “sleep apnea market is growing 9 to 10 percent a year.”

Wilkins added that SoClean soon will be branching out beyond CPAP cleaners.

“We’re taking the technology and applying it to other industries,” he said, with additional products coming out in 2020.

SoClean will hold a number of job fairs in the area and begin local operations in October. Company officials haven’t yet disclosed the location of the Kalispell facility, saying only that it is in a “very large building with lots of daylight.”

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at bserbin@dailyinterlake.com or 758-4459.

Print Article

Read More Local

New boutique bills itself as ‘lifestyle shop’

November 03, 2019 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Everything is by design at a new boutique shop on Electric Avenue. Kathleen Hennen hand-picks or hand-makes all of the products she sells at Bigfork Design, with items ranging from tables to T-shir...

Comments

Read More

Ciao interior designer wins prestigious award

October 20, 2019 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Kalispell-based interior designer Les Bernabi recently won a Designer of the Year award for 2019 from the Interior Design Society. With his work remodeling a cabin in Bigfork, Bernabi, principal com...

Comments

Read More

Carving out a niche in the furniture world

October 20, 2019 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of business stories featuring local manufacturing companies in recognition of Manufacturing Month. By BRET ANNE SERBIN Daily Inter Lake LodgeCraft Fu...

Comments

Read More

Meeting digital infrastructure needs

October 13, 2019 at 6:00 am | Daily Inter Lake For years, the trend in technology has been shrinking the size of devices. At Applied Materials, its electronic tools are growing. Unlike those who recall computers shrinking from an entire room to ...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

News: (406) 758-4433
Advertising: 406-758-4410
Bigfork Eagle
c/o Daily Inter Lake
PO Box 7610
Kalispell, MT 59904

©2020 Bigfork Eagle Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X