WEST POINT, Miss.—Yokohama Tire Corp. is donating $500,000 to two Mississippi colleges for establishing worker training-related courses as part of its preparations for the $300 million truck and bus tire plant that it is building near West Point.
Yokohama is donating $250,000 each to East Mississippi Community College and Mississippi State University, according to Tadaharu Yamamoto, president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi L.L.C., the entity set up in Startsville, Miss., to oversee the project.
Yamamoto, most recently head of Yokohama Tire Philippines, said the funds are to be used "to help build training programs and develop talent for the work force" for the new plant.
Yokohama's plant in West Point, Miss., will cover 1 million square feet and include rubber compounding and warehousing.
EMCC President Rick Young said his college would invest the funds into training programs that would "ensure the firm's profitability" as it comes on stream and grows.
YTC anticipates hiring up to 500 workers for the plant, which is designed to produce 1 million tires a year in the first phase. Production could quadruple to 4 million tires over time, the company said, and employment could rise to 2,000.