Continental Tire the Americas has opened a new Employee Training Center at the site of its future truck tire plant in Clinton, Mississippi
The center hosted a grand opening celebration with a ribbon cutting Nov. 8 attended by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant as well as federal, state and local governmental officials. The next day, the center held its first training class– Hydraulics and Pneumatics – for its newly hired maintenance technicians and current maintenance technician interns.
“This is where our growth begins,” said Michael Egner, project manager, in a press release. “The Training Center will support the recruitment and professional development that will drive the success of our employees in Clinton. I want to thank all of you who gathered with us today in support of this important project.”
The 23,000 square foot training center consists of interview rooms, computer labs, a media room and a large multipurpose room that can be converted into three classrooms. The back of the facility features a high-bay training area that can hold large vehicles for tire wear studies. In that same area, there are three classrooms dedicated to controls/drives training, hydraulics/pneumatics training and lean manufacturing workshops, said Quita Bride, communications specialist for the Greenfield Clinton Project.
Bride said the Training Center will be used for recruitment activities such as job interviews and employee onboarding. The facility will also be used for professional development in the areas of lean manufacturing, leadership training, maintenance training, and production simulations among others. Additionally, the company will use the center to host events for visitors, conferences, workshops, classes and seminars for its sales teams.
Continental will also expand its relationship with Hinds Community College, located near the training facility. Hinds will provide assessments and training for Continental employees and help provide equipment for the training center, Bride said. Students attending the community college will also have the opportunity to get hands-on experience through internships and apprenticeships with Continental.
In 2017, the company partnered with Hinds to launch the Maintenance Technician Internship Program. Hinds’ students received scholarships and were selected for summer training at Continental’s Mt. Vernon plant.
The Training Center is the first completed structure in Continental‘s long-term growth strategy in Mississippi. The Training Center will support recruitment and retention for Continental’s commercial vehicle tire plant, slated to be completed at the end of 2019.
By the time the tire plant officially starts production in 2020, around 400 employees will be hired. In its first phase, the plant is expected to produce 750,000 tires annually. Approximately 2,500 jobs will be created by 2028.
In total, Continental’s investment in its Mississippi manufacturing site under development is expected to reach $1.45 billion once completed.