With the highest-producing manufacturing plant in North America in Smyrna, Nissan has an ongoing need to develop and maintain a highly skilled workforce in Middle Tennessee. To accelerate its efforts to find and train workers, Nissan and the State of Tennessee are joining forces to build a state-of-the-art education and training facility adjacent to the automaker's vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna.
Nissan officials joined Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan today to break ground on the more than 150,000-square-foot education and training facility. This public-private partnership between Nissan and the State of Tennessee will provide training programs aimed at preparing workers for jobs in advanced manufacturing such as engineering, robotics and manufacturing maintenance.
The training center, which is scheduled to be completed by late 2016, will operate as an extension of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) campus at Murfreesboro. Nissan and Murfreesboro TCAT will occupy the facility jointly.
José Muñoz, executive vice president, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and chairman, Nissan North America, joined Gov. Haslam, Chancellor Morgan and other state and local officials to mark the start of construction.
"Nissan's success in Tennessee for more than 30 years is due in large part to our ability to recruit and retain a quality workforce of more than 12,000 employees working at the company's operations in Smyrna, Franklin and Decherd," Muñoz said. "This new training center is a key component to the long-term sustainability and continued growth of our business in Tennessee and another testament to the State's commitment to advancing business through education."
The training center will develop a pipeline of skilled workers for Nissan's Tennessee manufacturing operations and critical opportunities for current and prospective employees to learn valuable skills in advanced manufacturing. Employees will benefit from hands-on training with skilled trades that can be directly applied to work in Nissan's Tennessee automotive plants or with one of Nissan's many suppliers in the region.
"This is exactly the kind of intentional partnership we want to see happening across the state as part of the Drive to 55," Gov. Haslam said. "Tying the training and skills that our colleges are teaching directly to current workforce needs will help more Tennesseans qualify for good paying, high-quality jobs."
Nissan's operations in Middle Tennessee include the Smyrna assembly plant, two powertrain assembly plants in Decherd and the company's North American headquarters in Franklin. This year, Nissan Smyrna is the highest producing vehicle assembly plant in North America, with more than 600,000 vehicles rolling off the plant's two assembly lines in the first 11 months of the year. Nissan builds six different models in Smyrna, including Altima, the all-electric LEAF, Maxima, Rogue, Pathfinder and Infiniti QX60.
To meet growing demand for its vehicles, Nissan has made significant investments in new production, creating more than 5,000 manufacturing jobs in Tennessee since mid-2011.