April 24, 2018

Indiana, Japan partnership to be highlighted during Purdue forum

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —A forum on May 2 at Purdue University will highlight the impact of public-private partnerships between Indiana and Japanese industries on economic development and workforce enhancement in the state.

Leaders in local, state, national and international government, as well as private industries, will speak during the event, which is sponsored by Purdue and the Consulate of Japan in Chicago, in partnership with the Japan-America Society of Indiana.

Japan is the largest international economic investor in Indiana, with more than 280 Japanese companies in the state that support over 58,000 jobs, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The event will highlight how local- and state-level cooperation can spur innovation supported by a highly skilled workforce.

“I was very surprised and pleased how Indiana was able to be an exemplar for partnerships in industry investment, educational opportunities and quality of community and economic life,” said Barrett Caldwell, a professor of industrial engineering who worked as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the United States Office of Japanese Affairs in 2016-17. “In contrast to more negative stories about automation in the workplace, I was excited to report on the strong employment environment for workers at the two-year and four-year level for STEM related skills in advanced manufacturing and production industries.”

Two panel discussions, plus opening remarks and a networking reception, will take place from 3-7:15 p.m. at the Purdue Memorial Union. Events include:

3-3:30 p.m. – Opening remarks by Purdue President Mitch Daniels, as well as Naoki Ito, consul-general of Japan in Chicago; James Schellinger, Indiana’s secretary of commerce; and Julie Chung, director of the United States Office of Japanese Affairs.

3:30-4:30 p.m. – Workforce development panel featuring Tom Easterday, executive vice president of Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.; Fred Payne, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development; and Geanie Umberger, associate dean of engagement for Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Peter Morse, honorary consul to Japan, will moderate.

4:30-4:45 p.m. – Coffee and tea break.

4:45-5:45 p.m. – Innovation development panel featuring Schellinger and Daniel Hirleman, Purdue chief corporate and global partnerships officer. Morse will moderate.

5:45-7:15 p.m. – Networking reception in PMU South Ballroom.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information visit https://www.eventreg.purdue.edu/conf/CourseListing.aspx?master_id=5782&master_version=1&course_area=1287&course_number=109&course_subtitle=00.

The State Street Redevelopment Project construction is in process. This work is closing portions of Stadium Avenue, McCormick Road, Airport Road and Williams Street and significantly affecting surrounding thoroughfares in West Lafayette. For construction and project information, visit www.statestreetwl.com. 

Writer: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541, paul102@purdue.edu 

Source: Barrett Caldwell, bscaldwell@purdue.edu

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