By Dennis Seid
For Corinth Today
BLUE SPRINGS – Gray skies and rain didn’t dampen spirits at Toyota Mississippi today, as the automaker announced another 400 team members would be added in the coming months as the plant 50 miles from Corinth prepares to build the next-generation Corolla.
In addition, a new visitor and training center will be open by November of next year. Plans for the $10-million, 15,000-square-foot center were announced last year during the plant’s 10th-anniversary celebration. A ceremonial ground-breaking planned for today couldn’t be held because of the rain.
However, that didn’t stop Toyota officials, who were flanked by state and local leaders to celebrate the grand news of the day — more jobs, along with another $170 million investment by the Japanese automaker.
The 12th-generation Corolla will be built on the Toyota New Global Architecture platform. TGNA allows Toyota to share certain parts and components among several vehicles, including the Corolla, Prius and Camry.
Toyota says the TNGA investment “enables the assembly plant to stay competitive globally.”
“We will be able to respond quicker and be more flexible in order to meet market demands down the road,” said Toyota Mississippi President Sean Suggs. “I’m very proud of our team members and the partnerships we have developed across the state.”
The plant rolled off its its 1 millionth Corolla late last year and is well on its way to its next milestone.
The $170 million will go toward replacing all the production lines in the plant, and it will bring Toyota’s total investment in the plant since 2007 to more than $1 billion.
“For more than a decade, Toyota has been a valued corporate partner to Blue Springs and the state of Mississippi,” said Gov. Phil Bryant. “Toyota’s commitment to building a sense of community is illustrated by the company’s continued investment in its operations and philanthropic efforts throughout the region. This latest expansion and addition of hundreds of new jobs reinforces Toyota’s dedication to excellence in Blue Springs for generations to come.”
VISITOR AND TRAINING CENTER
The visitor and training center will help Toyota “grow its own,” officials said, by providing enhanced workforce development training.
“Today is very exciting as we unveil the design and break ground on our future visitor and training center,” Suggs said. “Toyota knows that you have to put in the effort to get the results, and this is just the beginning of that effort.”
Architecture firm JBHM designed the facility to support the plant’s growing need to accommodate public visitors and workforce training.
The meeting and training space will accommodate up to 120 people and include state-of-the-art audio-visual technology.
A public gallery, measuring some 5,000-square-feet, will feature interactive exhibits, the Toyota Production System and environmental elements while “highlighting the success story of the region and the state of Mississippi’s economic development.”
The center is scheduled to open in November 2019, and will be open to the public five days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Toyota Mississippi Adding 400 Jobs
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