Toyota Boshoku to reveal plans today

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

Toyota Boshoku will lay out its plans this morning at its Itawamba County facility, joining two other Toyota suppliers that already have announced that they will restart operations.
Gov. Haley Barbour is expected to attend the event, along with Masaki Katsuragi, chairman and CEO of Toyota Boshoku America, and Akira Furusawa of parent company Toyota Boshoku Corp.
Toyota Boshoku is one of eight suppliers lined up to provide parts and equipment for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, located near Blue Springs.
While TMMMS continues to hire small batches of workers as it gears up for a fall 2011 opening, some of the suppliers also are ratcheting up their hiring.
Auto Parts Manufacturing Mississippi in Baldwyn is accepting applications for about 250 jobs at its plant, which will supply stamped body parts, plastic bumpers and plastic instrument panels for the Corolla sedans to be built at TMMMS. APMM’s 516,700-square-foot facility is in the Harry A. Martin North Lee Industrial Complex.
In New Albany, Diversity Vuteq also is taking applications to fill about 100 jobs. The company will make exterior and interior plastic and assemble glass for the Corolla. The company has a 190,000-square-foot building it is finishing in the Martintown Industrial Park.
Boshoku, meanwhile, originally was expected to employ 500 workers to supply seats, door panels and carpet for TMMMS. The 340,000-square-foot plant sits on 40 acres off U.S. Highway 78.
However, when Toyota announced in December 2008 it was postponing the opening of the Blue Springs plant because of economic uncertainty, the suppliers also had to put their plans on hold.
Toyota announced in June it was restarting its Blue Springs plant. Company officials expect to have about 1,000 workers initially and 2,000 once it is fully operational. It has hired about 180 so far.
Suppliers are expected to employ another 1,500 to 2,000 people.