Ivy Tech official relates experiences of China trip

2013-02-11T15:33:00Z 2013-02-12T16:33:09Z Ivy Tech official relates experiences of China tripLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 11, 2013 3:33 pm  • 

GARY | Though there are many differences in the way business is conducted in China compared to in the U.S., an Ivy Tech official explained Monday how there are just as many similarities.

Scheduled speaker Jenny Massey, board president of the Indianapolis-based American China Society of Indiana, wasn’t able to attend the regular Gary Chamber of Commerce meeting. But Bill Thon, executive director of Ivy Tech Community College, pinch-hit with information from a trip to China he took in summer 2008.

Thon, who has 23 years experience in manufacturing, spent 11 days in China with a delegation of business and community leaders as the nation was preparing for the Olympic Games.

“It was a real pleasure to represent the college and to learn how differently we do business (in the United States and in China),” he told the chamber members and guests.

China’s population of more than 1 billion provides workers for the country’s economic development and building projects, said Thon, who heads Ivy Tech’s Corporate College program.

For example, the 2008 Olympic Village in Beijing was constructed in just 26 months, he said.

“The Chinese move projects along at a very quick pace,” Thon said.

The 2008 trip to China showed “what we can learn from other countries” for both educational institutions and businesses, he said.

Although the sheer scale of what China goes in terms of manufacturing differs from Northwest Indiana, that there are more similarities, according to Thon.

“The ideas in China are no different than the ideas we have in Northwest Indiana about our expansion and economic development,” he said.

“When we are in the workplace we provide a service and/or a product. It is the same in China and in Northwest Indiana” Thon said.

Although China has a reputation for sometimes producing inferior products, Chinese business owners “are just as interested in quality as our businesses are. They are interested in that product not returning,” he said, adding “They are doing all they can.”

Gary Chamber Executive Director Chuck Hughes told those attending that now is a good time to contact the American China Society of Indiana.

“We see from what Bill said how important it is to have a global environment,” Hughes said.

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