My Idaho: Norco's rich history in the Gem State

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Oct 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 11:17:18-04

A welding company turned massive medical supply business has been serving the northwest from hospitals to homes. Norco began in 1948 as the welding supply division of the Nordling Auto Parts Company in Boise.

In 1968, Jim Kissler's father Larry came to Boise and purchased Norco when they only had two locations, one in Boise and the other in Twin Falls. Jim purchased the business in 1985.

Norco Welding Equipment

As Jim will tell you, merging the welding and medical supply industries together was a natural evolution for his father. The business now sets up oxygen, wheelchairs, beds, walkers, scooters and pretty much everything that will make life easier for people who need these services.

"We're certainly a healthcare provider, we're really on the front lines because we're going into these homes where we've been told it's a COVID situation," said Jim. "The pandemic has struck that home."

Jim says they are wrestling to keep up with the needs of hospitals.

"It's a very oxygen intense therapy that they're giving these patients," said Jim.

The company has automated systems to fill up cylinders with gas, oxygen, helium, nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide. It's also not uncommon to see Jim walking the floors of their many warehouses.

Norco employees have a common stake in the company through their employee stock ownership plan.

"I think dad would be proud of us right now with what we're doing, managing to keep things together and keep up with demand on the company."