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Leadership students tour Tiffin plant

By Staff
Melissa Cason
RED BAY – The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce's Leadership class took advantage of a unique opportunity yesterday to see how Tiffin Motor Homes are assembled.
The group toured both the Red Bay and Belmont facilities.
Leadership Program Director Lisa Stockton said that this is the first trip for the Leadership class this school year, and they are focusing on Economic Development in Franklin County.
"I bring them to manufacturers in Franklin County to show them the impact these businesses have on not just our economy, but even the national economy," Stockton said.
Jerry Williamson gave the group a special tour of both plants, showing them the uniqueness of Tiffin's and how things come together.
There are various stages in building a motor home, and the majority of the work has to be done by hand rather than machines.
"Motor homes are not something that can be mass produced," Williamson said. "A lot of it, like the paint stripes, has to be done by hand."
The group got to see how a motor home is assembled from top to bottom, and how they are painted in the Belmont facility.
"This is the first year we have been able to tour the Belmont facility, and we are excited for the opportunity," Stockton said.
The students were introduced to Bob and Tim Tiffin. Bob Tiffin is the owner and Tim, his son, is the plant manager.
Tim Tiffin encouraged the students to think about careers in technology, and asked them to look close to home once they are through with college.
"We are always in need of good engineers," Tiffin said. "I have been looking for a year and a half for engineers for our company."
He said that once they find good employees with the skills they need, the employees usually stay with company, which is why the company has been successful.
Tiffin added that while they have good engineers now, many of their employees are getting ready to retire, and the company is going to need a good workforce to continue to grow.
At the end of the tour, the group was given the opportunity to see a fully assembled and finished product.
The Leadership program is comprised of eleventh grade students from Franklin County schools. There is a competitive selection process for selecting the leadership students.
The students have different activities each month, and all participants are required to earn 50 to 100 community service hours as part of the program.
"We really have a good group of students this year," Stockton said.