STARKVILLE, Miss.--Yokohama Tire Corporation, on the eve of its groundbreaking ceremony for a major new facility in Clay County, showed the company's support for education and economic development in the region with a substantial gift to Mississippi State University.
The land-grant institution received a $250,000 contribution as part of Yokohama's gifting program during a weekend press conference in West Point. East Mississippi Community College also received a matching gift.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum thanked Yokohama Tire officials for its investment, calling the company's commitment to education a great opportunity for the Golden Triangle and the entire state. Gov. Phil Bryant and representatives from the Mississippi Development Authority and Golden Triangle Development LINK were on hand, in addition to local officials and guests from MSU and EMCC.
"Your investment in Mississippi State University will be put to good use for the benefit of students and for Yokohama Tire," Keenum said.
He expressed interest in further discussion with Yokohama leaders to determine what educational initiatives are priorities for the company, adding that MSU's funding priorities include student scholarships and faculty support programs.
In announcing the gift, Tadaharu Yamamoto, president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, said he had long heard of Southern hospitality and that he takes honor in returning hospitality by supporting the men, women and families of Mississippi.
Yamamoto said his company understands how important education and economic development are to the state.
"These educational institutions prepare their students to be the workforce of tomorrow, as well as to become exemplary leaders," Yamamoto said. He added that both MSU and EMCC will be instrumental in collectively moving Yokohama Tire to a better future by providing assistance with developing training programs.
"On behalf of the Yokohama Tire family, we look forward to a successful partnership with the state of Mississippi and your educational institutions," Yamamoto said. He said the corporation is making a long-term investment with plans to make Mississippi home.
"We look forward to being a good neighbor and joining hands," he said.
Both Keenum and EMCC President Rick Young noted that Yokohama Tire could have chosen any location to build their new facility, but their selection of Clay County reflects their recognition of resources in an area that will foster success.
"Our people have a work ethic that is being touted internationally," Young said.
Keenum agreed and said that the state's premier research university, home of the nationally acclaimed Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and one of the world's largest supercomputers, will be a great resource for the company.
"We're going to help make a huge difference in your success," Keenum said. He also expressed appreciation for the confidence Yokohama Tire officials have shown in MSU, saying the company's leaders recognized they will benefit from partnering with Mississippi State.
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.