Japan is Kentucky’s top foreign direct investor, with 191 Japanese-owned facilities operating and creating nearly 46,000 full-time jobs in the state. Kentucky ranks second nationally in terms of the percentage of jobs supported by Japanese foreign direct investment.
For Japanese companies in Kentucky and for educators and state/local authorities who have been actively reaching out to Japan to invite additional investments and job creation, workforce improvement has been a common top priority.
The panel discussed Japan’s future overseas investment interests and the kinds of workforce needed in Kentucky to support these investments. The conversation sought to identify the challenges that Kentucky faces to recruit and train the necessary workforce, and explored how Japanese and U.S. companies, state, and local authorities, and educational institutions, can work together to address these challenges.