June 18th, 2013

CSGJ: June 18 – “The Workforce Training Model: How Auto Manufacturing is Spurring Job Growth and Invigorating the American Economy”

The Congressional Study Group on Japan convened a luncheon discussion featuring Mr. Simon Nagata and Mr. Wil James from Toyota Motor Manufacturing that focused on the role that foreign auto manufacturers play in the United States and the importance of quality workforce training for American workers. The Honorable Bart Gordon served as host, and Mr. Ed Luce of the Financial Times moderated the discussion. Representatives Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Jim McDermott (D-WA) – the two Co-Chairs of the Congressional Study Group on Japan – were in attendance, as well as Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-MS).

The event was opened with remarks by the Hon. Gordon with a welcoming statement to all guests and special thanks to the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Japan-U.S. Friendship Committee, and to the Business Advisory Council of The Congressional Study Groups which support program activities such as this roundtable. Before introducing the principals, Mr. Gordon also took a moment to note the important role that foreign auto manufacturers such as Nissan have played in his home district and for the state of Tennessee…

Hosted by The Congressional Study Group on Japan. For a full summary or more information, please contact Ms. Sabine Schleidt, Director of International Programs, at SSchleidt@usafmc.org.

Pictures from this event are available on our Flickr page here.


President Obama has often highlighted the role that global companies and foreign direct investment play in the United States, particularly in the manufacturing industry. This program will focus on the role of foreign automakers in particular with manufacturing plants here in the United States and the benefits and challenges for both companies and the local communities.

About the Panelists

  • Mr. Wil James has spent over 20 years at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky. He serves as Toyota’s representative on the Board of Affiliates for the National Society of Black Engineers.
  • Mr. Simon Nagata leads Toyota’s North American manufacturing and engineering operations. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo and current chairman of the International Committee of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.
  • Mr. Ed Luce is the Washington Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, London.