Nissan to search for workers in Port Gibson

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 11, 2002

[11/10/02]Nissan and the Mississippi Employment Security Commission will take a search for employees to Port Gibson Saturday.

“The job fair is a chance for anyone wishing to work at the new Nissan plant who may have missed an earlier opportunity to put in an application or resume,” said Angela Griffin, Nissan project coordinator for the MESC.

The fair will be from 9 a.m. until noon at the former Southeastern Metals building at 1602 E.P. Spencer Drive.

Applications for production technicians at the Nissan plant under construction in Madison County north of Canton will be taken along with resumes for maintenance technicians, human resources representatives and production supervisors.

Pay will range from $18.80 per hour with regular increases to $25 per hour for maintenance technicians to $13.25 per hour with increases to $20 per hour for production technicians. All positions will also offer health benefits packages, Nissan officials said in a press release.

The maintenance technician posts require five years’ experience in industrial maintenance or journeyman certification in industrial electronics, industrial electricity or industrial machine maintenance or three years of experience with programmable controllers and industrial trouble shooting.

Production worker jobs require 18 months of work experience with industrial or factory experience preferred.

The MESC will accept the applications and resumes, screen them for Nissan and then forward them to Nissan to set up interviews and do the hiring.

“I think this will be great for the community,” said Alex Batton, treasurer of the Port Gibson Claiborne County Chamber of Commerce. “We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.”

Claiborne County’s unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in September, down from 12.2 percent in August, according to MESC statistics. Even with the drop in unemployment, the county’s level was 13th highest in the state, down from seventh-highest the month before, MESC numbers showed.

Batton said the community recently lost the Southern Cotton Seed Oil Mill, which represented the loss of 40 or 50 jobs and those people need to find jobs.

“This is a good opportunity and the Chamber will help (the MESC and Nissan) any way they need,” Batton said.

Production at the Nissan plant near Canton is expected to begin in May 2003 with the Quest minivan and assembly of a sport utility vehicle about three months later.

The plant is expected to reach full employment in early-to-mid 2004.

Two companies that will supply parts to Nissan are either operating or preparing to operate in the Ceres industrial park at Flowers in eastern Warren County. Calsonic Kansei, which is to produce exhaust systems, radiators and condensers, began local operations in October. And Yorozu Automotive plans to produce suspension systems at the same location, with full operation planned to coincide with Nissan’s in May 2003.

Each company’s Mississippi investment is expected to be about $16.5 million, and each is expected to employ 120 to 140 people in the county.