By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. — Six months ago, vehicle parts manufacturer Keihin North America announced it would move its corporate headquarters to Anderson's Flagship Enterprise Center, 2701 Enterprise Drive.
Now, "We're officially here," said vice president Greg Young, after cutting a blue ribbon to dedicate the facility Friday afternoon.
The Honda supplier said in January it would move to Anderson, consolidating its offices in Fishers and Greenfield and eventually bringing between 130 and 175 management, engineering and development jobs.
Anderson was the "middle point" between the two offices, Young said. That, coupled with the city's history with technology and engineering, made the decision easy.
It's a city on the move, and is "trying to build its international flavor," he said. Keihin, a Japanese company, is the latest addition to an increasingly cosmopolitan business park that also includes companies from Switzerland, Germany and Israel.
"Anderson over the last few years, has really become a global city; I'm proud of that." Mayor Kevin Smith said. He also touted the mold-breaking Flagship, which has helped Madison County keep pace with larger nearby urban areas, such as Muncie or Indianapolis.
Flagship CEO Chuck Staley said Keihin was a boon for the park, linking it to suppliers, distributors and major economic centers worldwide, and offering "collaboration, image for our community, high-paying jobs (and) educational connection with Anderson University."
Keihin has said it plans to contribute to the research, development and creative partnership between Flagship and nearby colleges, such as Purdue and Anderson universities, both of which have offices in the building's academic wing.
Friday, the company cemented its partnership with AU via a $10,000 check toward better equipping the school's labs, in preparation for its new engineering program. When it launches this fall, the program will offer bachelor's degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering.
Young said he hopes the school will become a resource — a highly-skilled pool of graduates, who might one day come to work for Keihin.
Over two-thirds of AU grads go on to work in Indiana, "but we want that number to go higher," said Provost Dr. Marie Morris, who accepted the check at the ceremony with AU President Dr. James Edwards.
"We're looking very much forward to that relationship (Keihin will have) with our engineering students," she said.
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