The Tennessee Board of Regents broke ground today on a new facility across the street from Nissan’s factory in Smyrna. The $35 million building will serve as an extension of the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Murfreesboro, as well as a training center for Nissan.
Students here will work toward a certificate or credential related to advanced manufacturing. They won’t necessarily work for Nissan afterward — they might take a job at another manufacturer in the region such as Bridgestone.
Jose Munoz, chairman of Nissan North America, says the level of training needed for this kind of job has gotten tougher.
“They have a preparation that you cannot imagine. It’s more complex to do the job today than when I was a student of engineering,” he says. “So we’re qualifying people more and more and more.”
Nissan employees will also be doing training at the facility. According to TBR, the car manufacturer has contributed about $3 million toward the project, which includes some equipment. The new building is expected to be finished by fall of 2016.