LEBANON - The groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing facility in Lebanon signifies Boone County will be home to six businesses owned by Japanese companies. MonoSol, a Merrillville-based subsidiary of Kuraray in Japan, makes water-soluble films used for products like detergent pods. The $72 million facility is expected to employ 89 by 2020.

Boone County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Molly Whitehead says continued Japanese investment is the result of years of focus. "You look at the state of Indiana and their efforts to bring in that new Japanese investment over the past 20 or 30 years. As an organization, as a community, we have tried to make more advances in that ourselves," Whitehead says. "Be more intentional about relationship-building, visiting Japan and ensuring that we can be good partners to those companies that locate here and want to develop that long-term relationship."

MonoSol has six manufacturing operations in the United States, four of which are in Indiana. Whitehead says the manufacturer fits well with the area's target sectors.

MonoSol Chief Executive Officer Scott Bening says the "great energy" in Lebanon and its close proximity to customers throughout the Midwest make it the right choice. The new employees the company will add in central Indiana, Bening says, will come in without the necessary skills, will get trained up "and they typically come and they never leave." The new location will be about two hours from MonoSol's current operations in northwest Indiana and he says it will provide "a great learning experience for us as we continue to grow globally." Bening adds the central Indiana workforce and the degrees offered at area colleges and universities will help fill the companies needs.