After a productive month of orientation, Nokian Tyres has sent the first group of employees at its Dayton, Tennessee factory on a dynamic six-week training experience at its facilities in Russia and Finland.
The intensive training trip will equip Dayton Factory launch team members with the skills they need to successfully produce some of the safest, most sustainable tyres in the world at one of the industry’s most advanced production facilities. Production process ramp-up will begin at the company’s first North American factory soon, and commercial production is on schedule to start in 2020.
“We couldn’t be happier with the skills and enthusiasm of our first 60 employees,” said Nokian Tyres Dayton Factory 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 state-of-the-art 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 the company’s employee-focused culture. Some workers will get training also at Nokian Tyres’ original factory 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 state-of-the-art machinery.
Making the community a priority
Amidst a busy training schedule, the launch team participated in several community service projects during its one-month orientation experience. 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 committed to serving 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,” Chia said. “Our company wants to set the tone for the kind of community partner it will be.”
The life-driven company has also formed an employee-led donations committee that will evaluate opportunities for non-profit involvement.
Second phase of hiring
Later this year, Nokian Tyres will begin its second phase of hiring for the Dayton Factory. Eventually, around 400 employees will craft tyres at the state-of-the-art facility.
The Dayton Factory is a key element of Nokian Tyres’ growth strategy, which aims to doubling the company’s North American sales by 2023.