Shelbyville's Global Focus Continues to Pay

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Kimura Foundry is a manufacturer of components for automotive and industrial customers. Kimura Foundry is a manufacturer of components for automotive and industrial customers.

An $8 million investment announced Wednesday morning by Kimura Foundry America Inc. continues a string of international investment that Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun says spawned from a concerted effort between the public and private sectors. The automotive and industrial supplier's proposed 3D printing-enabled facility means Shelby County is now home to 12 Japanese-owned employers. DeBaun says Shelby County offers a "very accepting" atmosphere for foreign-owned businesses -- from offering Japanese language classes in middle and high schools to county training programs that prepare the work force for high-tech advanced manufacturing positions to education programs like Advantage Shelby County designed to steer high school graduates toward in-demand careers.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, DeBaun says the community is ready to meet the needs of future employers. "We're going to make an effort to cover all those bases and we're going to leverage every possible advantage we have," DeBaun said. Rose-Hulman and Ivy Tech Community College have existing relationships in Shelby County designed to train students for the high tech needs of employers like Kimura, which produces complex castings and molds using additive manufacturing techniques.

DeBaun says Shelby County is in the top three Indiana counties in terms of Japanese investment per capita. "If you look at the number of people from other counties who do business in Shelby County, it's significant," DeBaun said. "I think that's because we have a welcoming business climate and because we listen to the concerns of the employer. If they come to us with a specific need, we make a concerted effort to address it."

Kimura Group plans to break ground on its first U.S. operation in October and could have the more than 35,000 square-foot facility open by the end of next year. It is expected to employ 20 by 2020. DeBaun says if the initial investment proves successful, it could open the door to an even larger second-phase.

Editor's note: a previous version of the story misspelled Mayor Tom DeBaun's last name.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun says the community is ready to meet the needs of future employers.
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