By Manny Manriquez, JAMA USA General Director
Japanese-brand automakers currently operate 24 manufacturing plants and 43 R&D/design facilities in 20 states throughout America, with over 90,000 direct employees. Our member companies are committed to supporting the professional growth of their employees across the U.S. and to cultivating the next generation advanced manufacturing workforce. JAMA members pursue these aims by partnering with local educational institutions, local governments, and other regional employers to offer advanced skills education to employees and members of the communities in which they operate. Below are just a few examples of JAMA members’ ongoing workforce development initiatives throughout the country.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky in Georgetown is a driving force behind the Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), a partnership of regional manufacturers, educational institutions, and the public sector to create a pipeline of advanced manufacturing technicians through apprenticeship-style training. This FAME Program is in 10 community colleges across Kentucky where students attend class two days a week and gain paid working experience at Toyota or one of 55 partner companies three days a week.
Students who apply to the Advanced Internship in Manufacturing (AIM) program at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) earn an associate’s degree at Vincennes University while also obtaining hands-on, paid work experience at Subaru. AIM graduates qualify for a full-time position at SIA, and can choose to continue their education at Purdue Polytechnic Institute with financial support from SIA.
Nissan North America and the Tennessee Board of Regents partnered to build the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) at Murfreesboro’s Smyrna Campus and Nissan Training Center. The new campus offers classes in fields such as automotive technology, industrial electrical maintenance, machine tool technology and welding technology – providing valuable skills to TCAT students and employees of the Nissan Smyrna plant (including suppliers) that can be directly applied in Nissan’s facilities or with other employers in the region. Nissan will have up to 800 students enrolling in the TCAT programs in the near future.
Honda of America Manufacturing in Marysville, Ohio helped to create the Marysville Early College High School in partnership with Marysville Schools, Columbus State Community College, Ohio Hi Point, and the Union County Chamber of Commerce. Honda helped to develop the school’s curriculum, which gives students the opportunity to gain manufacturing skills and earn college credits while still in high school.
JAMA members understand that the innovative and competitive nature of the U.S. auto industry relies on a diverse and highly-skilled workforce. For this reason, our member companies work in collaboration with various local stakeholders to enhance the skills of current employees, bolster the U.S. manufacturing talent pipeline, and help develop the workforce of the future.