May 7, 2012
First Nissan Industrial Maintenance Scholarships Announced in Tennessee
May 7 – Decherd, Tenn. – There is a great need for industrial maintenance technicians in the auto industry and sometimes those skilled workers are hard to find. Earlier in 2012 Nissan North America announced the establishment of the Nissan Industrial Maintenance Training Scholarship, which is targeted directly at developing the type of workforce that the auto manufacturer needs to manage complex systems and machines.
Last week, two Franklin County (Tennessee) high school seniors were named as the first recipients of the scholarship. Award winners Chase Gardner from Huntland High School and Cody Hopkins from Franklin County High School will begin their full-time studies at the Shelbyville branch of the Tennessee Technology Center this fall.
“The industrial maintenance track at the Tennessee Technology Center is designed to address the shortage in skilled trades that exists in our state and across the country,” said Ivan Jones, director of the center. “Our program, which is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education, aligns with our overall mission to be a high-quality provider of workforce development in Tennessee.”
The Nissan scholarship will pay full tuition costs, including books and supplies, for up to five trimesters. As they work toward certification in industrial maintenance, both students will learn how to troubleshoot, disassemble, repair and reassemble hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical and electrical systems on industrial machinery.
“Nissan is committed to supporting education, and we are also eager to help develop a highly skilled workforce in Tennessee. This scholarship program helps to accomplish both these objectives,” said Rick Youngblood, Nissan director/plant manager of powertrain manufacturing.
A Nissan Scholarship Selection Committee reviewed all the scholarship applications to determine the award winners. The committee was comprised of representatives from Nissan, the Tennessee Technology Center, Franklin County High, Huntland High and the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
Nissan began powertrain assembly in Decherd in 1997. Today employees manufacture 4-, 6- and 8-cylinder engines for the complete lineup of U.S.-produced Nissan and Infiniti vehicles. The plant also houses crankshaft forging and cylinder block casting operations. In 2011, Decherd produced more than 580,000 engines in facilities that cover more than 1.2 million square feet.