Governor Joins Japan's Consul General to the Midwest at Rend Lake College Workforce and Education Roundtable
Consul General Naoki Ito Expects More Japanese Company to Come to Downstate Illinois
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Japan Consul General Naoki Ito and Governor Bruce Rauner ask questions at Rend Lake College's Workforce and Education Roundtable.

Governor Bruce Rauner joined Japan's Consul General to the Midwest at Rend Lake College Wednesday for a workforce and education roundtable.

Governor Rauner says southern Illinois is already home to ten Japanese firms employing over four-thousand workers. He says the region has plenty to offer foreign investors.

"Here in southern Illinois, we have incredible people, incredible workforce. We have an incredible location, in terms of the center of the United States, incredible transportation network with the rivers, with the highways, with the rail system, quick access to St. Louis, quick access to the rest of the Midwest."

Consul General Naoki Ito says companies like Magnum Steel Works in Mt. Vernon and Aisin Manufacturing in Marion have good track records in southern Illinois.

"I'm sure we can send a really good signal, message to Japan, so that there is going to be an increasing number of Japanese companies to come and enjoy the real, say, beauty of Illinois, here downstate."

To increase foreign investments, Governor Rauner says Illinois must have a partnership between community colleges, local high schools and local employers. He says classes need to train students in the jobs where there are a shortage of workers, such as computer programmers, machinists and welders.

Thanks to WSIU for the story.

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