Nissan Puts Local Employers' Fears To Rest

The Madison County Chamber of Commerce was packed. Residents and business owners listened intently to the Human Resources Director of the Smyrna Tennessee plant explain what they can expect when auto giant Nissan comes to their small town.

"We're not going to come in hiring 4,000 people and put companies out of business," Nissan Human Resource Head Thomas Groom said.  "There was a fear of that in Tennessee. This process allows us to take a couple from you and a couple from you and a couple from you."

Groom said it's too early to say when the company will be hiring, but all applicants will be hired through the Mississippi Employment Security Commission.

"As opposed to someone coming to a location and sitting down and filling out a Nissan application, they'll be working with us to set up a process where everybody can send them into their branches," Groom said.

According to Groom, production technicians and maintenance technicians will be the two basic classifications of employees. And if you have no idea how to put a car together, Groom says, don't worry.

"We're not going to go out a hire trained automobile workers," Groom said.  "We're going to train everyone. That is not a problem. We have done it and done it very successfully. We've got one of the most efficient plants in the world right there in Smyrna, Tenn."

Nissan hopes to be able to say the same thing about the Canton plant when production begins in 2003.