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At $18 per hour, interest high in first Nissan jobs

By Staff
ANNOUNCEMENT n Mississippi Employment Security Commission project director for the Nissan Unit Jamie Graham, right, stands next to Curt Thompson during a Friday news conference announcing recruitment proceedings for the new Nissan manufacturing plant in Canton.AP photo
From staff reports
Jan. 13, 2001
JACKSON Nissan and the state of Mississippi on Sunday will launch the initial phase of staffing up the company's new automotive manufacturing plant, it was announced here Saturday.
And, at starting pay of $18 per hour or nearly $37,500 per year, with generous benefits the company expects to receive thousands more applications than it has jobs available. One state official estimated every available job will draw at least 25 applicants.
Under terms of its 62-page basic agreement with Nissan, the state through MESC will conduct an initial screening of maintenance worker resumes to ensure applicants meet Nissan's minimum qualifications.
To be considered, applicants must have a minimum of five years of industrial maintenance experience or journeyman certification in the following areas:
n industrial electronics;
n industrial electricity;
n industrial machine maintenance; or
n three years of experience with programmable controllers, precision CNC tools and industrial troubleshooting.
While the pay and benefits may be appealing, Nissan said applicants must also be willing to attend unpaid pre-employment training in order to be considered for a position.
A notice outlining the qualifications for the maintenance positions will appear in some Mississippi newspapers on Sunday. The notice may also be obtained at any MESC office.
Thompson said Nissan, at this time, seeks only experienced maintenance technicians. "Recruiting for the majority of the plant's workforce, the production jobs, will begin in the summer and will continue for about a year," he said.
MESC will conduct a similar screening project for the production worker jobs. "I want to make clear that the decision as to who is hired is strictly up to Nissan," Thompson said.
While many Mississippi companies manufacture, remanufacture or supply components to the automotive industry, the Nissan plant is by far the state's largest venture into the hotly-competitive world of automotive manufacturing. Nissan has announced it will manufacture light trucks and sport utility vehicles at the plant, which will eventually employ some 4,000 workers at a sprawling site on I-55 near Canton in Madison County.
The jobs being advertised now carry $16.75 in base pay plus a base bonus of $1.25 per hour.
The company said it offers comprehensive health care, including medical, dental, vision and hearing, along with a prescription drug plan and life insurance. Workers get 14 paid holidays each year, paid vacation, a retirement plan and a vehicle purchase program aimed at making it easier to put plant employees into Nissan vehicles.
Job candidates should send resumes to the Mississippi Employment Security Commission, P.O. Box 22690, Jackson, MS 39225-2690.