Workforce challenges are now being tackled through collaboration with Japanese firms in Anderson, Indiana. A new internship program has developed with Japanese companies that are operating in this Madison County city in the nine-county Indy Region. The program developed over a recent trade mission to Japan led by Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr., accompanied by Anderson Economic Development Executive Director Greg Winkler and Anderson Corporation for Economic Development’s Executive Director Rob Sparks.
The Anderson delegation visited and discussed the new internship program with Japanese firms NTN Driveshaft, NTK Precision Axle, Hitachi Transport, and Keihin. These companies have an existing presence in Anderson, with hopes to expand, so available workforce will be key.
Broderick stated in late November that several of the Japanese companies have committed to the job training program, with interest coming from others. The program itself would be available to high school students, individuals currently out of work, or those wanting to improve their job skills. It will also partner with other local companies, Ivy Tech Community College, and Purdue University to continue developing the job training program.
“From a strategy stand point, Anderson’s economic success is defined by how we grow our next generation of workers,” said Rob Sparks. “This success is rooted at the core of our educational programs, and this internship opportunity contributes by unifying our community and corporations.”
Workforce development has been a challenge across Indiana and other states, given low unemployment rates. Broderick noted that there are numerous job opportunities in Indiana, and that it is necessary to establish partnerships between cities and companies to develop local talent.
“We not only want to attract [the younger generation] to Anderson but also encourage people to live and work in the city,” noted Broderick in the Herald Bulletin. “The companies would consider those people who have completed the program as potential employees.”
The city of Anderson is set to sponsor the internship program, expected to commence on April 1, 2019. It plans to span a four-to six-week training period for placement in local factories.