BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Honda is opening a new training center in Bellefontaine to better support production at their Ohio plants.
Honda employs 15,000 people in Ohio and has plants in Anna, Marysville and East Liberty
One hundred Honda associates are hitting the ground running as the first class to break-in a 1.9 million dollar, 40,000 sq. ft. training facility.
Associates will train on a mock assembly floor and there’s even a workout space to prepare for the physical demands of the job.
“My dad has worked at Honda for about 24-years now. So, Honda has kind of been a way of life for our family for a long time,” said Jordan Clark, a Honda associate.
It’s a way of life for Clark and thousands of Ohio residents. Prior to the new facility, Honda employees would train at the primary plants for a week or so and jump right in. Now, the new associates have room to forge relationships and hone their craft.
There’s less pressure and more familiar faces for when the real work begins.
“You kind of get to know everybody. They become your family and your friends. These are the people you are going to work with for years,” said Clark.
Honda of America Vice President, Pam Heminger says they owe this to their employees.
“We are a major employer. We need to ensure that we are providing associates the skills they need to thrive in this area. So, not just this community prospers, but Ohio prospers,” said Heminger.
New associates will spend 2 weeks at the training center. But this new venture isn’t just bringing in new faces. Honda veterans of 30 years are coming back to work for the company, spreading their decades of knowledge.
“The feeling is overwhelming. I mean it’s such an opportunity to be here and to see this happening. This is history making as far as I’m concerned. It has, to me, global implications,” said Albert Jordan, a Honda employee of 30 + years.
Honda is celebrating their 40th year in production in America. They made their first car in Ohio in Marysville in 1982.
Last year, Honda purchased more than $10 billion in parts from 173 Ohio suppliers.