Nearly a year after accepting a grant from Yokohama Manufacturing, the East Mississippi Community College Training Facility in West Point officially celebrated the four new classrooms it opened for its manufacturing classes.
Officials from Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, the city of West Point and the Clay County Board of Supervisors all attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the classrooms Tuesday morning at EMCC’s West Point Training Facility.
Tadaharu Yamamoto, president of YTMM, cut the ribbon at the ceremony.
In April, Yokohama, along with the city and county, gave EMCC a $250,000 grant to improve the training facility which trains all employees at the tire manufacturing plant, Yamamoto said. At the facility, employees first take online courses in manufacturing and then move on to classes which give them hands on experience using the same types of machinery and equipment used at Yokohama’s West Point plant.
EMCC has used the grant money to begin renovations at the facility, according to Raj Shaunak, Vice President of Manufacturing Technology and Engineering at EMCC. Since Thanksgiving, the facility has opened four new classrooms, Shaunak said.
EMCC bought the facility in 2007 and has used it for manufacturing training for the last three or four years, Shaunak said. The training facility is available for students wishing to earn their GED or take the Work Keys test in order to go into manufacturing with companies such as Yokohama, PACCAR and Steel Dynamics. Every Yokohama employee trains at EMCC’s facility, and right now 300 employees are enrolled. An additional 600-700 students were enrolled at the training facility last year, Shaunak said.
Yamamoto took the opportunity at the ribbon cutting ceremony to address the importance of Yokohama’s engagement with the community and stressed the importance of continuing partnerships with local governments and educational agencies like EMCC.
Plans are currently in place for Yokohama to have hired a total of 500 employees, most from the Golden Triangle area, by the end of 2016, Yamamoto previously told The Dispatch.
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