Monday, May 18, 2015

CKNA Celebrates LEAP Grant for Four Counties

Training the future workforce is the goal of industry and the communities in which they reside. Thanks to an initiative by Gov. Bill Haslam, a partnership between local industries, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Shelbyville, the South Central Development District and four counties - Bedford, Franklin, Lincoln and Marshall - is expanding workforce training facilities and programs in the region.
Gov. Bill Haslam introduced the Labor Education Alignment Program (LEAP) grant earlier this year and regions across the state competed for up to $1M in funding to develop and implement workforce development training. The South Central Development District brought together the TCAT-Shelbyville leadership and local leaders from the four counties in the region to create TCAT facilities in each county that would provide Industrial Maintenance Technology training through TCAT-Shelbyville.
Calsonic Kansei North America stepped up to be the top contributor to this project with a donation of $50,000 to help develop the training facilities in each of the four counties.
In a ceremony on Monday, May 18 at their headquarters in Shelbyville, CKNA officially made their financial donation to the project in front of the CKNA leadership and local officials from each of the four counties.
For Marshall County, this will mean that a TCAT-Shelbyville facility will be created in the city-owned building at 218 West Commerce, just off the Lewisburg Square. Starting in September, students will be given the opportunity to take 24-month training at the Lewisburg facility to become certified in Industrial Maintenance - a much-needed skill for several of the local industries in Marshall and surrounding counties.
"There is no greater industrial partner to this community than CKNA," said Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham. "Time and again, CKNA has demonstrated its commitment to Lewisburg and Marshall County by investing in community and workforce development projects that will to not only ensure their continued success, but will also insure the continued growth and prosperity of Lewisburg and Marshall County."
CKNA CEO Shingo Yamamoto thanks everyone at the Ceremony for their support of the LEAP Grant
CKNA CEO Shingo Yamamoto, Sr. VP Mike Layne and COO Eric Huch welcomed several special guests to the ceremony Monday morning including Sen. Jim Tracy and Rep. Pat Marsh, all mayors from each county and representatives of the education and training community in the region.

CKNA COO Eric Huch talks about the importance of workforce development in the region. 
"We need to develop a pipeline of good, skilled employees in order for us to continue to compete in the global market," said COO Eric Huch. "We appreciate the opportunity to assist in this project that will not only develop that pipeline for CKNA but for all the other industries in the region."
Along with CKNA's donation to the grant, Lewisburg industries Berry Plastics, Nichirin and Walker Die Casting committed funding or equipment to develop the training facility in Lewisburg.
Renovation on the facility in Lewisburg is currently underway with plans to begin training this September. More details on how to enter the Industrial Maintenance training program will be released in the next few weeks.