Center for Manufacturing Excellence to be built on Ole Miss campus
New $22 million joint venture with state, Toyota to teach management skills to manufacturing plant managers.
Construction of the Center for Manufacturing Excellence will begin on the Mississippi campus in Jackson this fall. Toyota has announced plans to open a plant in Oxford, MS in 2010, and part of the funding for the center will come from the state’s economic development package for the automaker.
"We in Mississippi continue to have a larger percentage of our population employed in manufacturing than the country as a whole," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour told the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger. "One way to help our businesses innovate and stay successful is to give them world-class people to employ, whether it's engineers or business majors or people who work on the line."
"The center is not dedicated to Toyota or the automotive industry. The essential purpose of this center is to train the young engineers and young business people who are going to run our factories in the future," said Dennis Cuneo, a Toyota consultant and former company executive.
The paper reported that the center will offer bachelor's degree in business and engineering with an emphasis on manufacturing.
"We need to create a bigger pipeline in Mississippi of business majors who are prepared to go directly into manufacturing with some idea of production engineering," Barbour told the paper. "And (we need) engineers who can go to a company and also understand finance management and human resources, because that's what companies need."
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey