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Nissan fallout: ECCC launches new program

By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
April 12, 2001
DECATUR  Working with area companies, East Central Community College has developed a new training program to replace skilled workers lured away by high-paying jobs at the Nissan plant.
While the $930 million Nissan plant in Madison County is expected to boost Mississippi's economy and offer more than 4,000 new jobs when it opens in 2003, other companies expect to lose valued employees. The pay for industrial maintenance jobs at Nissan will average about $20 an hour, a wage most other area companies will find difficult to match.
And yet, these companies' needs for skilled workers will remain.
To help train new workers for companies in its district, ECCC is establishing an Industrial Maintenance Training Program, which will be located at the Philadelphia-Neshoba County Vo-Tech Center. It is not a degree-granting program, though Sutphin said he hopes it may one day become one. Once it has started, companies will arrange to have their employees take the training.
The East Central board of trustees approved an equipment purchase for the classroom. The money spent will be repaid by the state workforce training program.
Classes will begin as soon as possible, he said.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at sswogetinsky@themeridianstar.com.

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