COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) -- Don't be blindsided! Be prepared.
That's the message to all those who want something better in the form of a job at Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Company.
"I'm trying to look for a career and job that's gonna last a long time (with) great pay-just a great opportunity for me and my family," said LeMarcus Isaac.
"You never know who is hiring because the economy is changing and just luckily, I'm in the right region right now," said Jonathan Clayborn.
The timing is definitely right. Yokohama intends to hire 500 people for phase one of their $300 million initial investment.
"We are on the brink of tremendous growth in North Mississippi and it's gonna need a collective effort to make this (a) reality," said East Mississippi Community College Vice President for Workforce and Community Service Dr. Raj Shaunak.
The company requires a high school diploma or GED diploma and completion of the WorkKeys test with at least a silver ranking.
That assessment measures common "real world" skills that employers believe are critical for success in the workplace.
The process involves testing and if all goes well, the awarding of a Mississippi Career Readiness Certificate which a must have.
Motivation is also key.
"We can always teach the technical skills and the knowledge base, but motivation and "want to" is the most important skill an individual has," added Dr. Shaunak.
Sessions like this one held in Columbus will continue to get the word out about how to get one of those jobs.
All involved are excited about the future prospects.
"I want to be able to work long enough to see it do a complete turnaround when Yokohama comes in and my town comes back alive," said EMCC Director of Workforce Services-West Point Mitzi Thompson.
"The more things that happen here from an economic standpoint, the better off we all are in our community," said Roger Burlingame.
The company's goal is to have 500 people hired by spring, 2015.
For more information on training, contact Workforce Services Division, Golden Triangle Campus.
That number is (662) 243-2659.