Hankook Tire opens its first US manufacturing plant

Hankook Tire opens its first US manufacturing plant

Oct 19, 2017

By Traction News Staff Hankook Tire held its grand opening ceremony for its first manufacturing facility in the U.S., underscoring its commitment to technology, innovation and growth in North America. The development of the Tennessee Plant is integral to Hankook’s strategic vision of becoming a top-tier tire brand, while providing high-quality, made-in-USA products to its customers. The grand opening celebration took place at the facility in Clarksville, Tenn., and was attended by State of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, United States Representative Marsha Blackburn, Korean Consul General Seong-jin Kim, and several other prominent state and local officials. The Tennessee Plant is Hankook’s eighth plant worldwide and joins a global footprint of state-of-the-art manufacturing that serves customers globally. The plant’s first phase will produce 5.5 million units annually, enabling Hankook to more efficiently provide tire dealers and consumers with high-quality tires and industry-leading services to meet the demands of the American market, while supporting existing and future Original Equipment (OE) partners. The plant has already brought nearly 1,000 jobs to the local economy, a total that is expected to climb to 1,800 as infrastructure expands. In addition, Hankook moved its American headquarters to Nashville last year and has hired more than 100 local employees to oversee operations there. “The new Tennessee Plant signifies Hankook Tire’s growing business in the United States and continued journey toward being a global leader in the tire industry,” said Seung Hwa Suh, Global CEO of Hankook Tire. “Our investment in the U.S. is part of our ongoing commitment to innovation, state-of-the-art technology and service for our customers. This high-tech, sustainable facility will enable Hankook to execute every phase of business in the U.S., from R&D to production and sales.” Hankook incorporated sustainable design and construction practices into development of the 1.5 million square foot facility, which sits on 469 acres. Leveraging top-tier technology and highly automated processes, the Tennessee Plant will produce Passenger Car Radial (PCR) and Light Truck Radial (LTR) tires from Hankook’s extensive North American lineup, including the KINERGY PT, a premium touring all-season tire and Hankook’s first tire made in the U.S. “Hankook Tire’s new plant brings tremendous economic growth and opportunity for Tennesseans,” said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam....

Manufacturing jobs booming, but may be harder to fill

Manufacturing jobs booming, but may be harder to fill

Oct 6, 2017

By Suzanne O’Halloran, Fox Business When South Korean appliance giant LG broke ground for a new one-million-square foot washing machine factory in Clarksville, Tenn. in August, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was side-by-side with LG North American President and CEO William Cho cheering a project that is expected to create 600 jobs and perhaps many more in the years ahead. “Our Clarksville factory has great potential to expand to produce other products beyond just washing machines,” said William Cho President & CEO LG North America during an interview with FOX Business. “We have 310 acres…and our new washing machine facility will occupy just one-quarter of that when it opens in early 2019. The other three-quarters will have potential to extend additional LG home appliances.”   The plant, LG’s largest in the U.S., is set to open in the first quarter of 2019 and will add 600 well-paying jobs manufacturing jobs to the U.S. pipeline with potential for more. Cho says the company will focus some of its recruiting and hiring efforts on nearby Fort Campbell to tap what he describes as military veterans that are “skilled workers”.  Additionally, the company also announced plans to open an electric vehicle component factory in Michigan, creating an additional 300 new jobs, and is building its North American headquarters in Englewood, New Jersey which should double local employment to 1,000 jobs. LG joins a growing list of global companies coming to the U.S. to open factories to the delight of President Donald Trump. Earlier this year Foxconn, the Taiwanese Apple (AAPL) supplier, announced plans for a Wisconsin plant that is expected to create 3,000 new jobs, while Toyota (TM) and Mazda announced a joint-venture plan to build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant promising 4,000 new jobs starting in 2021. These future factories may help continue the U.S. manufacturing sector’s momentum as the country makes more goods, but its job growth may not carry the same momentum. “Job growth may not be staggering, but we could staunch the bleeding.  Could we boost manufacturing output, produce more stuff? Yes,” former White House director of economic policy under George H.W. Bush Todd Buchholz tells FOX Business. Automation and technology is also creating a...

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more…

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more…

Aug 30, 2017

“After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, U.S. needs more tradespeople” By Matt Krupnick, The Hechinger Report FONTANA, Calif. — At a steel factory dwarfed by the adjacent Auto Club Speedway, Fernando Esparza is working toward his next promotion. Esparza is a 46-year-old mechanic for Evolution Fresh, a subsidiary of Starbucks that makes juices and smoothies. He’s taking a class in industrial computing taught by a community college at a local manufacturing plant in the hope it will bump up his wages. It’s a pretty safe bet. The skills being taught here are in high demand. That’s in part because so much effort has been put into encouraging high school graduates to go to college for academic degrees rather than for training in industrial and other trades that many fields like his face worker shortages. Now California is spending $6 million on a campaign to revive the reputation of vocational education, and $200 million to improve the delivery of it. “It’s a cultural rebuild,” said Randy Emery, a welding instructor at the College of the Sequoias in California’s Central Valley. Standing in a cavernous teaching lab full of industrial equipment on the college’s Tulare campus, Emery said the decades-long national push for high school graduates to get bachelor’s degrees left vocational programs with an image problem, and the nation’s factories with far fewer skilled workers than needed. “I’m a survivor of that teardown mode of the ’70s and ’80s, that college-for-all thing,” he said. This has had the unintended consequence of helping flatten out or steadily erode the share of students taking vocational courses. In California’s community colleges, for instance, it’s dropped to 28 percent from 31 percent since 2000, contributing to a shortage of trained workers with more than a high school diploma but less than a bachelor’s degree. Research by the state’s 114-campus community college system showed that families and employers alike didn’t know of the existence or value of vocational programs and the certifications they confer, many of which can add tens of thousands of dollars per year to a graduate’s income. “All throughout high school, they made it sound like going to college was our only option.” Derrick Roberson, who is training to...

How Wages, Taxes, and American Value are Reshoring…

How Wages, Taxes, and American Value are Reshoring…

Aug 24, 2017

“How Wages, Taxes, and American Value are Reshoring US Manufacturing Jobs” By Paul Carlson, CliftonLarsonAllen The flow of American manufacturing jobs overseas has peaked and is now reversing as U.S. companies find more than just economic reasons to bring them back home. Over the past few decades, the United States has lost as many as 4 million manufacturing jobs to foreign nations as companies look for ways to reduce costs. But the overseas manufacturing landscape is changing significantly. The emerging market wage difference that existed when the decision was made to offshore manufacturing is now dwindling, and in the past few years the costs of production have been increasing. This, in turn, has led to a growing number of companies reshoring — bringing manufacturing back to the United States. Catch the reshoring wave According to the 2016 Reshoring Report from the Reshoring Initiative — an organization working to return manufacturing jobs to the United States — more jobs are returning to the United States than are going abroad. “We publish this data annually to show companies that their peers are successfully reshoring and that they should reevaluate their sourcing and siting decisions,” says Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, in a May 15, 2017, statement. “With 3 to 4 million manufacturing jobs still offshore, as measured by our $500 billion annual trade deficit, there is potential for much more growth.” The report found that 77,000 new reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) manufacturing jobs were created in 2016. This is a 500 percent increase from the low of 2000 – 2003, when only 12,000 jobs were created on average annually. Overall, it is estimated that a net 25,000 new jobs were created in 2016. Jobs are returning from Asia Most of the jobs being reshored are from Asian countries, where 138,450 jobs have already been brought back to the United States. Of those jobs, most came from China. During the 2010 to 2016 timeframe, China accounted for approximately 60 percent of all manufacturing jobs created by reshoring and FDI. One of the biggest reasons for this trend is the shrinking wage benefit in China. Since 2001, the hourly Chinese manufacturing has risen by approximately 12 percent a year on...

Manufacturing jobs opening in US, are workers qualified?

Manufacturing jobs opening in US, are workers qualified?

Aug 16, 2017

By The Associated Press Fox Business As Wisconsin state legislators prepare to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-Wis.) $13 billion incentives package for Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn’s first U.S. manufacturing plant this week, the state immediately needs to address a dilemma troubling workers and employers across the country: the skills gap. The Foxconn plant is expected to bring as many as 13,000 direct jobs to Wisconsin, according to Walker, with starting salaries of $53,000 plus benefits. The Foxconn plant could also potentially create 22,000 indirect positions within Wisconsin. It would be a substantial gain for a state that currently has 472,000 manufacturing jobs and is still recovering from factory layoffs. Walker said he has already begun discussions with colleges about training opportunities to prepare graduates for work at the plant. But the need for high-skilled employees at the new manufacturing plant highlights the paradox of manufacturing jobs in 2017. Donald Trump won the presidency in great measure because he pledged to stop American jobs and manufacturing from going overseas, winning Rust Belt votes from blue-collar voters. It’s true that many jobs have gone overseas, to lower-wage workers. But at the same time, American manufacturers have actually added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years. Labor statistics show nearly 390,000 such jobs open. The problem? Many of these are not the same jobs that for decades sustained the working class. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical know-how or specialized skills. And many of the workers set adrift from low-tech factories lack such qualifications. Factories will need to fill 2 million jobs over the next decade, according to a forecast by Deloitte Consulting and the American Manufacturing Institute. Workers are needed to run, operate and troubleshoot computer-directed machinery, including robots, and to maintain complex websites Last year, software developer was the second-most-common job advertised by manufacturing companies, behind only sales, according to data provided by Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes labor market data. Yet the United States for now remains a follower, not a leader, of the trend. Workers in many European and Asian countries are more likely to be working with robots than U.S. workers, studies show. In such...