CSUDH students will have a new way to get a foot in the door of international industry leaders, with the introduction of the university’s new Japan Job Training (JJT) program. The university will partner with the Japanese Consulate and prominent Japanese and local businesses to create the JJT program on campus.
JJT is part of the consulate’s new push to expand collaboration between Japan and the Southern California African American community, with the goal of creating “a deeper kinship and mutual understanding,” said Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan, at an event on June 30.
“Equipping CSUDH students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to compete for workplace opportunities and thrive in the workforce of today and tomorrow will require strategic, collaborative partnerships,” says CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham. “The Japan Job Training Program is one of those vehicles that can facilitate those outcomes.”
“I am excited and grateful for the partnership with Japanese corporations and their commitment to, and investment in, our academic and co-curricular endeavors. The synergy created by the alliance between the JJT and CSUDH is an initiative that we expect to be mutually beneficial for Japanese corporations and our beloved campus.”
The JJT program will be one of four pillars of the new collaboration, which is being conducted in tandem with the Los Angeles Urban League. The idea was sparked by discussions of the demise of the Toyota Technical Training Center, which was established on Crenshaw Boulevard in Torrance after the civil unrest of 1992.
With the support of U.S. Representative and CSUDH alumna Karen Bass, the training center provided local youth with automotive training and job opportunities, in partnership with Toyota USA. It has since been shuttered, but Muto says, “We are working with CSUDH to launch a new program with the same spirit of opportunity.”
The JJT program has already gained the support of 11 top companies, six of which have previously partnered with CSUDH on various programs—Mitsubishi, Suntory, Panasonic, Manufacturers Bank, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and the REDAC Gateway Hotel in Torrance.
“This new partnership will pursue internships, mini-internships, and on-campus company recruitment opportunities. [It will help create] a new curriculum to better prepare students through research and development of new products, which we hope will lead to the creation of new jobs,” says Muto.
Muto added that Sony Pictures has already committed to offering two of their prestigious internships, complete with monthly stipends, to CSUDH students starting this upcoming academic year. The L.A. Urban League is expected to contribute by promoting related business activities in the region, helping improve the business climate, and supporting other initiatives aimed at improving local life.
An important aspect of JJT will be introducing CSUDH students to the variety of cultural differences they might encounter working for a Japanese company. “Japanese companies want to know that if they hire you, you will be the right fit,” says Joseph Wen, Dean of the College of Business Administration and Public Policy. “Even a small mistake or wrong word can be critical when you interview.”
“With this new program, we know that CSUDH students will not only graduate with the facts and knowledge they need for their degree, but they will learn cultural aspects that will allow them to fit in any kind of multicultural Japanese company.”
Wen adds that if the Japan Job Training program is successful, it could lead to other collaborations, such as German Job Training or Chinese Job Training programs. “All of these places have different work cultures from the U.S., and from each other,” he says.
“Really, the potential is huge. That’s really meaningful to me. We don’t just open a small door, we open so many doors to our Toro students.”