Jun 24, 2008

Mississippi welcomes Toyota with education

This morning in the
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, the editor wrote Mississippi is supporting Toyota's new plant there by investing in education and research:

Gov. Haley Barbour, University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat and Toyota officials on Monday unveiled designs for the chief higher education component of the state's investment in the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi project - a $22 million Center for Manufacturing Excellence at Ole Miss in Oxford.

It will link the School of Business and the School of Engineering...

The engineering school will offer a new bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in manufacturing. The School of Business Administration and the School of Accountancy will offer a minor in engineering, with emphases on lean manufacturing and production. Mississippi's community colleges offer lean manufacturing training and programs as part of their work force curriculums.

The editor sees one big omen of success because a Toyota executive in residence is part of the plan.

The article goes on to attempt to describe the philosophy and benefits of lean, which we don't need to examine, because just getting the term, "lean manufacturing" in print in a positive context is a help.

Money is to come from other sources as well...

Private sources, it is notable, also have come forward with support. The Robert M. Hearin Foundation will give $750,000 for a manufacturing internship program to link the university, the center and state manufacturers. The Mississippi Power Foundation has pledged $500,000 toward the center.

The editor's final sentence shows that at least someone on Northeast Mississippi sees why the center is good for manufacturing in the area, and why manufacturing is good for Mississippi...

The center's development creates the potential to more strongly link a wide range of manufacturers in Northeast Mississippi and statewide with the forces and efficiencies dominating the worldwide market.

Appeared originally in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 6/24/2008, section B , page 3

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