Hino Motor Manufacturing Plant Opens in Region 8, Employs 700

MARION, AR (KAIT) -- It was a huge day in Marion as dignitaries from across the globe gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the Hino motor manufacturing plant.  A project nearly two years in the making was finally official today.

On hand were Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe along with the President of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing and the President of Hino Motors.

The $225-million dollar plant began construction in 2006 and now employs 700 people who manufacture axle assemblies and suspension components for the Toyota Tundra.  The factory also began production of suspension components for the Toyota Sequoia.  But it's the workforce that will make the difference.

"As the result of the last six or seven months learning from Hino what they like or what they didn't like, with regard to the states role in screening to provide work force training for qualified workers.  we were able to adjust not only what we were doing for Hino, and then some and in other companies in eastern Arkansas, we were able to adjust it for the whole state," said Governor Mike Beebe.

Hino Motors also donated $1-million yen to Mid South Community College and also announced the establishment of an annual college scholarship.