Monday, January 23, 2012
The 2011-2012 class of Junior Leadership Marshall nears its graduation date of April 4 by continuing to learn about local and state agencies including a recent tour of local industry.
The class of 35 seniors from MCHS, Forrest and Cornersville were treated to a tour of two industrial facilities in the Lewisburg Industrial Park on January 18 including Southern Carton and Calsonic Kansei of North America (CKNA).
The Lewisburg Gas Department served as breakfast and luncheon host for the class of future leaders of Marshall County before the group was met by Southern Carton President Dave Kennedy. Kennedy gave a thorough tour of the Southern Carton facility detailing how the business began and what challenges it faces moving forward in the new business and industry global economy. The students saw box manufacturing up close and learned what it takes to run a major industry in Lewisburg.
The class next visited Calsonic Kansei of North America where Dickie Archer and a group of CKNA officials focused on education and training. Archer outlined the importance of educated and trained associates in developing and growing a global automotive supply company from America in the face of challenges from other countries including China, India and Brazil. The students were then given a tour of the facility and saw how CKNA produces quality interior automotive parts for major automotive manufacturers including Nissan. Many of the students were amazed at the amount of new technologies being utilized by CKNA to manufacture the parts and to compete in the global market.
Finally, the class sat down for a luncheon where they were taught proper dining etiquette by adult Leadership Marshall Director Lynda Potts and local caterer Sharon Deitz. The students learned how important it is for each of them to take advantage of the education and training opportunities afforded them in high school, and soon at the college level; so that each will be able to compete in the future workforce that has become a global endeavor. The students were taught that each of them should think of himself or herself as a business and a product to be marketed to the companies of their futures.
Pictured – Jeff Doss of CKNA begins the tour of the facility with a group of Junior Leadership Marshall Students as they see the final dashboard products manufactured here in Lewisburg.
Recent recipient of the Tennessee Economic Development Council Lifetime Membership Award, Joe B. Brandon, recently presented a program to the Lewisburg Rotary Club on economic development in Lewisburg and Marshall County.
Brandon’s dedication to Tennessee’s economic strength is exemplified in his many roles in economic development throughout his career. He has served at the State of Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, where he introduced the Retention and Expansion (R&E) program. Also deeply involved in economic development on the local level, Brandon served on Lewisburg’s first Industrial Development Board and as a County Commissioner. He is a dedicated, long-time member of TEDC, having served as Middle Tennessee Director and, for a decade, as principle fundraiser.
Brandon gave the Lewisburg Rotary an overview of the challenges in economic development facing Lewisburg and the region, but he also outlined some of the positives he sees as building blocks on which Lewisburg and Marshall County can grow and strive. Lewisburg’s location, its rich tradition in industry and its focus on business expansion and retention as well as new industry recruitment programs Brandon believes are strong points Lewisburg can use to market the community in the new age of economic development.
Pictured – Joe B. Brandon gives the Lewisburg Rotary Club a lesson in economic development – past, present and future.