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Gov. Rauner, Consul General deepen economic ties between Japan, Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner traveled (Wed) with the Japanese Consul General for the Midwest to meet with key educational and manufacturing leaders in southern Illinois, where the state’s business ties with Japan are paying dividends in jobs.

Today’s schedule included a tour of the Aisin Manufacturing campus in Marion. The company’s footprint has grown from one plant to three since the Japanese firm’s first Illinois groundbreaking in fall 2001.

“Aisin — an esteemed, world-class auto supplier — is among the many examples of Illinois’ strong relationship with Japanese investors,” Rauner said while touring with Consul General Naoki Ito. “We have over 630 Japanese companies at 1,206 locations, employing more than 44,000 Illinoisans.”

“Aisin is very pleased to support the Japan Consulate-Midwest visit to our plant and honored that Gov. Rauner was able to attend,” said Glenn Edwards, executive vice president of Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, where a combined 2,500-plus are employed at the three Aisin Group plants. “This type of interaction and activity is key to a positive, long-term business relationship.”

Before the tour, business, government and educational leaders gathered for a working luncheon at Rend Lake College, a community college in Ina. New Southern Illinois University System Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, Rend Lake College President Terry Wilkerson, state Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, and state Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, were among attendees.

Boosting coordination between colleges, universities and manufacturers to ensure a well-prepared, well-educated workforce is among the Rauner administration’s signature goals.

94.1 WGFA