Following a productive month of orientation, Nokian Tyres has sent the first group of employees from its Dayton, Tennessee, USA factory on a dynamic six-week training experience at the company’s facilities in Russia (pictured) and Finland.
The intensive training trip will equip the Dayton factory launch team members with the skills they need to manufacture tires at this advanced plant. Production ramp-up will begin soon with official production on schedule to start in 2020.
“We couldn’t be happier with the skills and enthusiasm of our first 60 employees,” said operations director Peter Chia. “Now, we look forward to seeing them apply their energy to learning about our industry-leading processes and products.”
Most employees will train at the company’s factory near St Petersburg, Russia, where the highly automated technology closely resembles the even-more-advanced machinery currently being installed in Dayton. The journey will also include cultural experiences and deeper introductions to Nokian Tyres’ employee-focused culture. Some workers will also receive training at the tire maker’s plant in Nokia, Finland.
While the majority of the launch team will travel to Europe, a group of engineers, technicians and operators will remain at the Dayton factory to commission and test the machinery.
Amid a busy training schedule, the launch team participated in several community service projects during the one-month orientation. Employees worked on landscaping projects to improve parks and non-profit facilities, helped renovate a playground, painted park benches and tables, and helped prepare a transitional lodging house for beneficiaries of We Care, a local organization that helps homeless and underprivileged Rhea County residents. Employees also built and donated bicycles to underserved children as part of the company’s relationship with We Care.
“There’s a reason our launch team has spent so much time serving the community in its first month on the job. Our company wants to set the tone for the kind of community partner it will be,” Chia added.
The tire manufacturer has also formed an employee-led donations committee that will evaluate opportunities for non-profit involvement. The second phase of hiring for the Dayton factory will begin later this year. Eventually it will employee 400 experts.