Higher pay, summer internship part of Yokohama Tire’s plan to become Golden Triangle’s top employer

WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – Yokohama Tire Manufacturing in Mississippi wants to be the employer of choice in the Golden Triangle, and the business is taking significant steps to prove that to potential employees.

Philip Calhoun, Vice President of Manufacturing and Operations, estimates that the West Point plant contributes at least $6 million each year to the local economy.

“We really have close to half-a-million tires that are back-ordered, so people desire and want and are willing to pay for our tires,” Calhoun says. “And so that’s why there’s tremendous growth opportunity here.”

It takes a lot of people to make half-a-million tires. Which is why Yokohama Tire Manufacturing in Mississippi currently has about 100 job openings.

“You can be a tire builder, you can work in the mixing department, you can work in material prep or you can work in our inspection process,” product engineer O.D. Howard Jr. says.

“We take people with little or no experience here at Yokohama and as long as you come in willing to work hard, willing to come to work every day, we will train you, we will give you a good wage,” Calhoun says.

On May 29th, Yokohama will increase its starting wage to anywhere from $16 to $17.50 an hour, depending on the department.

“If you come in with relevant manufacturing experience, you could start off as high as $20 an hour,” Calhoun says.

At the same time, Yokohama has established a new high school summer program called ITIRE (Increasing Talented Innovators through Real Experiences).

“They will be working from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the 32-hour workweek,” says Tommy Stevenson, the plant training administrator. “They will get a real experience on how to report to work on time, how to develop a strategy throughout the day to accomplish the goals or tasks that have been assigned to them.”

The program is designed to show high school juniors and seniors the opportunities available to them if they pursue a career in manufacturing.

“From engineering to maintenance to environmental health,” Stevenson says.

Even chemical engineering.

“When you think about chemical engineering, you don’t necessarily think about tire manufacturing,” says Yokohama compound engineer Allison Clark. “(But) there are a lot of things that are involved in the production of tires.”

The ITIRE high school program is set to start mid-June, 2022. Registration runs up until June 1st. To learn how to apply, contact Tommy Stevenson at Tommy.Stevenson@yokohamatire.com or 662-854-4673.

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