It’s welcome economic news in Mississippi with more than 250,000 people suddenly out of work due to the health crisis. The coronavirus since March resulted in more than 100,000 deaths across the U.S. as of the Memorial Day Weekend. At the moment, more than 40 million Americans are jobless.
In new ads on social media sites, Continental Tire seeks to hire production supervisors, machine operators, mechanical engineers, maintenance technicians and other workers. The plant will employ more than 2,500 people by 2028. That benefits Central Mississippi and other regions, officials say.
Two miles west of Clinton, Continental Tire currently employs 340 people and will have employed a total of 500 workers by the end of 2020, company officials say. They manufacture large truck and bus commercial vehicle tires for the U.S. market.
“A great team is key to producing high quality tires,’’ says Clinton plant manager Michael Egner. “We’ve built a great foundation with our current team of around 340 employees and are excited to continue our culture in Clinton.’’
Throughout the pandemic, “I have been impressed by the way the team continues to take care of each other – respecting safety guidelines and measures we have implemented,’’ Egner added.
Clinton leaders have been impressed with the company since day one. Key dates include Continental’s November 2016 groundbreaking and the launch of tire production in December 2019.
“Continental’s presence here has been a strong statement of stability and belief in the entire region,’’ Clinton Mayor Phil Fisher said. “Their hiring is a reinforcement of their belief in our community and state.’’
Clinton alderwoman-at-large Ricki Garrett sees benefits with Continental Tire employees spending in local businesses and purchasing homes in the area. “We are very pleased to have the company and its leaders in Clinton,’’ she said. The company “will be a wonderful partner with our city for a long time to come.’’
Motorists driving along I-20 see the rapid progress of the plant. Business leaders see the company’s economic strengths.
“The potential employment opportunities and the positive impact on ancillary business will enhance the economy of the area,’’ said Marcelo Eduardo, dean of the Mississippi College School of Business.
John Rounsaville, interim director of the Mississippi Development Authority, applauds the tremendous impact of the tire manufacturer. “Continental has been a great economic development partner in central Mississippi as well as the entire state,’’ he said. “The fact that this international company is hiring during this time shows its commitment to Mississippi, its residents and the economy.’’
Based in Germany, the company will hire in Mississippi as spring turns to summer. It happens at a critical time for the region’s troubled economy.
“Our economy has taken a major hit,’’ says Sen. Hillman Frazier, who’s toured the Continental plant. His Senate district spans portions of Jackson and Clinton, including the massive facility off Norrell Road.
Frazier says he is thrilled Continental Tire leaders located the high-tech plant in Hinds County. Continental Tire selected Mississippi after state and local incentives totaled $600 million to attract the $1.45 billion plant in 2016. That included $274 million in bonds approved by the Mississippi Legislature.
“It is very good for the region,’’ Frazier said. “We have the land, the capital and the people.’’
Continental Tire hiring will do more than bring employees to the area. The plant should draw other businesses to the region.
With the Toyota plant in Blue Springs near Tupelo, Nissan’s facility north of Canton, and Continental Tire near Clinton, Mississippi is a major player in the auto industry, Frazier said.
Some of the state’s unemployed could consider new opportunities at the tire plant.
At a press briefing in late May, Gov. Tate Reeves expressed hope that Mississippians take advantage of workforce training to pursue good-paying jobs in 2020. A number of people losing their jobs may be unable to return, so retraining becomes an option.
Hinds Community College operates workforce training linked to the Continental plant. Continental Tire leaders hope Mississippians consider a career at their plant near Clinton.
Founded in 1871 in Hanover, Germany, Continental Tire operates on every continent with about 235,473 employees worldwide.
Applications are being accepted at www.continental-jobs-com.