Employee training and hiring a key incentive to locate Toyota-Mazda plant to Alabama

By Bayne Hughes, for Decatur (AL) Daily

Jan 16, 2018

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A key incentive in attracting the Toyota-Mazda plant to north Alabama was the ability of state and local colleges and universities to find and train workers, state officials said.

Alabama Industrial Development and Training (AIDT), an agency of the state Department of Commerce, committed — as part of the incentives package — to help recruit, screen and train employees for the new plant in the Greenbrier area of Huntsville-annexed Limestone County.

Calhoun, Northwest Shoals and Drake State community colleges will provide training in skilled trades, while the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Athens State University could supply management- and administrative-level employees. Calhoun is already a partner with Toyota’s Huntsville engine plant in the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education Program that provides industrial maintenance training.

Dean of Technology John Holly said he thinks the success of this 4-year-old program helped Alabama’s bid for the plant. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the companies try to replicate FAME’s success with the new plant. Calhoun is already a partner with Toyota’s Huntsville engine plant in the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education Program that provides industrial maintenance training.

Robotics are an essential part of the vehicle production industry, so Tanner’s Alabama Robotics Technology Park, which AIDT runs, will be used for robotics training.

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