The future is now


By Philip Calhoun,

Incoming Vice President,

Nissan Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant,


As the 2018 school year begins, I want to offer best wishes for a great academic season. A new school year always brings a sense of anticipation from  students and teachers as they prepare to face challenges and opportunities in the year ahead. My hope is that as this next chapter begins, we all have an eye toward the future and the best path for our students. For the faculty and students of Mississippi schools, the future is now.

Whether this is your first year of kindergarten or your final year of high school, one thing is equally true: your future is yours to command. It begins in the classroom, where a tremendous amount of learning and growing takes place every day. .

Wherever you are in school, this a good time to pause, reflect and consider where you want to be next week, next year or ten years from now. That’s because where you are tomorrow is greatly impacted by the lessons you learn and the choices you make today. Always be aware and open-minded and take advantage of all of the opportunities available to you. The world is in your hands.

As someone who manages one of the most sophisticated manufacturing plants in the country, I am constantly searching for talented people to join our team. I can tell you what kind of people companies like Nissan need today. We are seeking out the curious, the conscientious and the committed.

These character traits are critical to one’s success as they speak to who you are and your connection with the world around you.

More practically, we are looking for people with an interest in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. The jobs of tomorrow will require a much different set of skills, and it is important that students are preparing for future success. Understanding the principles of learning presented through STEM will get you there.

Nissan Canton is like a city. While we have engineers and vehicle assembly technicians, we also have nurses, athletic trainers, data analysts, programmers and just about any other job you can imagine, all under one roof.  It is an active and contributing part of your community, and I want you to be prepared to take advantage of it.

To our teachers: thank you for your dedication to educating our young minds. Because of your experience and commitment, you have a better appreciation than most for what lies ahead for each soul in your care. Nissan is committed to being a strong education partner in our community, and we stand with you in meeting your mission every day.

Mississippi schools have the charge of building strong minds and strong character within the young men and women who pass through schoolhouse doors every day. In my opinion, there is no more important mission – nor one more noble – than the one you have accepted.

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