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Supporting Automotive’s Work Force Needs in Mississippi

The state of Mississippi provides work force training programs tailored toward the automotive industry.

2013 Auto/Aero Site Guide
Mississippi Development Authority is a sponsor of our 2013 Auto/Aero Site Guide.

Premier global automotive manufacturing companies such as Nissan and Toyota have taken notice of the advantages of a Mississippi location. Before 2000, no automobiles had been produced in Mississippi. Nissan’s decision to locate an automotive assembly plant in Canton 13 years ago propelled the state’s automotive industry to impressive new heights. Today, 7,600 Mississippians are employed in automotive manufacturing and the state is a major player in the southern automotive corridor.

Nissan has invested more than $2 billion in its Canton operations and employs more than 5,600 team members at the facility. Since production began in 2003, workers have built more than 2.3 million vehicles. In July, Nissan announced they were constructing a one-million square- foot supplier park, supporting 800 jobs near its Canton plant.

After Toyota officials announced the selection of northeast Mississippi as the site of the company’s 10th U.S. production plant in early 2007, the automaker cited the state’s dedicated and capable work force, with its considerable manufacturing experience, as the primary reason. Today, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi employs 2,000 workers and has invested $800 million into the company’s Blue Springs operations.

With the growth of automotive manufacturing in the state, automotive suppliers have become extremely vital to Mississippi’s Nissan and Toyota operations, including eight Tier-1 suppliers located in the state to supply and support Toyota’s Blue Springs plant. Additionally, Yokohama Tire Corporation officials announced in April that the company would build a new $300 million commercial truck tire plant in West Point.

Work force development is critical to Mississippi’s economic development mission, particularly in its expanding automotive manufacturing industry. The state provides work force training programs tailored toward the specific needs of the automotive industry through Mississippi’s 15 community colleges.

Established in 2001, the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems was founded to further the state’s interaction with the automakers and focuses its efforts on developing superior engineering, manufacturing, and design technologies. In 2010, the Center for Manufacturing Excellence opened, providing a cross disciplinary education in hightech manufacturing. And, the Mississippi Polymer Institute researches and develops new composite materials for the automotive and other hightech industries.

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