On August 19 and August 26, a total of twenty-three participants in YKK AP Corporation’s program to improve the business English competency of YKK AP employees in Japan visited YKK AP America Inc. The delegates were selected from a group of 258 participants in a six-month online English language program. Only those who completed 100% of the 25 minutes per day lessons were eligible to participate.
The visit consisted of a tour of YKK AP’s manufacturing facilities in Dublin, GA and Macon, GA, as well as a round table discussion with Oliver Stepe, president of YKK AP America. The round table conference was intended to improve the participants’ understanding of the YKK AP business in the United States and to give the participants practice discussing business matters in English.
The delegates had a wide variety of questions for Mr. Stepe, from manufacturing, sales and marketing, HR, R&D, and corporate culture. Some questions included, “What value do you think Japanese manufacturers are expected to create?” “Why are sliding windows, which are so popular in Japan, rarely used in the United States?” “What are you doing to increase the product knowledge of the employees?” “Which part of our company are you most proud of, compared to other companies?”
Following their visit to Georgia, the delegates toured architectural sites in New York and Los Angeles. Each visit lasted one week.
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