Tue June 18 03:05 am 2019 in category Company news

Nokian Tyres Launch Team "Like a Family" as Overseas Training Concludes

The group is preparing to return home from training in Russia and Finland to launch the company’s first North American production facility

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Bonnie Houle had never left the country or flown on a plane for longer than an hour. Now, she and her colleagues at Nokian Tyres’ new factory in Dayton, Tennessee have become seasoned travelers and are preparing to wrap up six weeks of intensive training in Russia and Finland.

This week, a group of more than 40 employees at Nokian Tyres’ first North American factory will return home from a lengthy training excursion at the company’s factories in Nokia, Finland and near St. Petersburg, Russia. The overseas training experience has provided the factory’s first production workers with in-depth knowledge of the tire manufacturing process as the Dayton facility ramps up to tire production in 2020.

“I’m very proud to have the opportunity to take this trip,” said Houle. “The training we’ve received and the activities we’ve enjoyed are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Nokian Tyres matched each Dayton worker with a mentor from the Russia and Finland factories who schooled them in the art and science behind crafting premium tires. The mentorship model also allowed the employees to cultivate cross-cultural connections with their foreign counterparts. Dayton team members and their Russian mentors even took a break to enjoy a day of whitewater rafting, laser tag and other teambuilding activities.

“My mentor’s knowledge for her job and the pride she takes in doing it are excellent examples of humanity and teamwork,” said Houle, a production operator at the Dayton facility. “Our leaders were able to pair us with coworkers who are amazing.”

“My trainer is very dedicated in what he is teaching me,” added production operator Taylor Ball. “It shows me that the company stands for more than just tires.”

The Dayton Factory will produce approximately four million tires each year once it reaches full capacity. The company has hired 60 workers to staff the facility and will eventually employ as many as 400 people. As more employees come on board, launch team members will serve as internal ambassadors for the premium tire maker’s processes and culture.

“We anticipated that the overseas training experience would be an enriching experience for our employees, but it has far surpassed our expectations,” said Dayton Factory Operations Director Peter Chia. “As we seek to become the employer of choice in Southeast Tennessee, we’re eager to continue investing in our team members’ training and well-being.”

The employees say they’ll always look back fondly on the overseas journey, but now they’re turning their eyes toward their quest to serve the company’s growth goals and build something special in their community.

“We have had many knowledgeable trainers, and we are going to be well-prepared when the time comes to start manufacturing tires,” said production operator Antonio Williams. “We have truly become a family, and these people are the reason I am excited to come to work every day.”

“It has been helpful to understand what our role as leaders will look like,” Houle said. “To share our hearts and skills with the community is an opportunity I’m very proud of, and I thank Nokian Tyres for that chance.”

The Dayton Factory is a major catalyst for Nokian Tyres’ growth in North America. The company has announced plans to double sales by 2023, in part by manufacturing all-season and all-weather tires to serve areas where the Scandinavian company has not previously held a strong presence.

To learn more about the Dayton Factory or to apply for jobs there, interested parties can visit NokianTires.com/DaytonFactory.