Nissan has recruited Kristina Adamski to be its director of group communications for North America. Adamski comes to the Franklin-based company from Ford Motor, where she had for three years led communications for manufacturing facilities and hourly workers around the world. She fills a spot vacated by Travis Parman, who is on assignment with Renault, Nissan's strategic ally. Read more here.
Large German labor union IG Metall has partnered with the United Auto Workers to launch the Transnational Partnership Initiative, a program that calls for better pay and working conditions at the U.S. plants of German car makers, which employ some 100,000 people. The unions say the industry's shift toward the South has come with a deterioration in the quality of life for many of its workers.
The push for a German-style works council at the VW factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been the UAW’s highest profile effort to organize workers at a foreign-owned plant in the southern U.S. recently.
The effort has drawn the UAW to the powerful IG Metall trade union, whose former boss Berthold Huber was named interim chairman of VW AG’s supervisory board following the resignation of Ferdinand Piech last spring. Huber has been a vocal proponent of the UAW’s organizing drive at the VW’s Tennesee factory, urging workers in a 2013 letter to join the union, Reuters reported at the time.
Looking to keep your German sharp? Here's IG Metall's release on the topic.
Nissan announced Friday a 100-school, 22-sport sponsorship plan for college sports:
Specifics of each sponsorship were negotiated throughout the summer with the media rights holder for each school involved, including IMG College, Learfield Sports, Outfront Media Sports, FOX Collegiate Sports Properties, JMI Sports and Sun Devil Athletics. The series of sponsorships will cover 22 sports (men's and women's), 100 schools, thousands of student-athletes, 22 million alumni and 188 million fans across the nation.
As an extension of Infiniti's status as an Official Corporate Partner of NCAA Men's Basketball, Nissan will receive rights to activate at select NCAA Championship events.
Student-athletes and fans alike at each university stand to benefit from this sponsorship, with support extending to scholarship funds, facilities upgrades (weight rooms, equipment, video boards, Wi-Fi) and tutoring programs among other things.
The partnership provides permanent Nissan signage in hundreds of stadiums and arenas for multiple sports, as well as countless media opportunities and tickets for consumer incentives.
Tennessee and Vanderbilt, along with the rest of the SEC, are included, as is TSU, among several HBCU's on the list, available here.
Gov. Bill Haslam's 10-minute pep talk Wednesday on the latest happenings in Tennessee's business stratosphere lacked any mention of the state's most high-profile investment: Volkswagen. But Haslam did address the topic in remarks after his formal address to the two-day Governor's Conference on Economic and Community Development at the Renaissance Hotel.
The German auto company announced earlier Wednesday that Winfried Vahland, the head of North American operations for less than a month, has left the company over disagreements about how to restructure the business. The move leaves Volkswagen without a continental face following revelations that the company equipped vehicles with devices to skirt diesel emissions tests.
“He was actually supposed to have visited Tennessee this week or last. I guess we know now why he didn't come,” joked Haslam when talking to reporters after his speech at the 62nd Annual Governor's Conference on Economic and Community Development. “The key thing is for Volkswagen to define the problem and say what they're going to do about it. I think until they do that, everybody's going to be looking with some doubt about what they're doing when what we need them to do is say, 'Hey, we're making a lot of good vehicles.' And we need them to get back to selling those vehicles.”
Tennessee invested an estimated $360 million of incentives to lure Volkswagen to the Volunteer state, with local governments coughing up another $220 million to manufacture the Passat here. Another $260 million is on the way between state and local governments for a second line of vehicles.
Before hundreds of people at the annual conference downtown, Haslam stressed how easy it is to sell businesses on locating to Tennessee. Connecting education to the workforce is a must, he said, and the need for a rural development initiative is real and a new project of his administration. The state's work on development is a team effort, he added, and said despite occasional disappointments, the outlook is encouraging.
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