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story.lead_photo.caption Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Texarkana plant produced its 400 millionth tire in February, which is the most tires produced by a single Cooper plant in the company's history. This feat is evidence of the plant team's dedication and drive. (Submitted photo)

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company's Texarkana plant has been producing quality tires for more than 50 years. On Feb. 8, 2019, the facility celebrated the production of its 400 millionth tire, a Cooper Discoverer STT Pro extreme all-season, off-road performance tire. With this milestone, the Texarkana plant has earned the honor of most tires produced by a single Cooper plant in the company's history.

"Producing 400 million tires is evidence of the plant team's dedication and drive," said Scott Cole, Plant Manager for Cooper's Texarkana facility. "And, it's very fitting that the Discoverer STT Pro was the plant's 400 millionth tire. This has been an extremely popular product that has earned numerous accolades for its design and capabilities. This tire has proven itself time and time again, just as the Texarkana team has proven its commitment to quality and efficiency by reaching this milestone."

Cooper celebrated its 400 millionth tire with a recognition event for employees, whose hard work and dedication led to the record accomplishment, and to thank the community for its support. As part of the celebration, Cooper announced the donation of 19 sets of tires to area teachers and educators who demonstrate excellence in their field.

Committed to giving back, Cooper is an active member of the Texarkana community. The plant takes part in the United Way of Greater Texarkana's annual campaign, including hosting a Big Bass Fishing Tournament fundraiser. In March, the local United Way announced Cooper as its top contributor in the 2018/2019 fundraising campaign, raising close to $200,000. In addition, Cooper partners with area entities to hold an annual tire amnesty day where Cooper employees and others collect scrap tires.

"We have an incredible workforce in Texarkana that is generous, thoughtful and dedicated to giving back to the community," said Cole. "Being a longtime employer, Cooper is a place where families have chosen to work for generations and those new to the workforce can kick start a meaningful career. Our team is a great group of people working toward the same goal of producing the highest quality tires."

Cole says that the opportunity for advancement brings many people to Cooper, and the organizational culture keeps them there. "Manufacturing offers exciting career potential. The field is technology driven and fast paced. At Cooper, we have jobs for people who like working independently and for those who like to work in groups. You can start in a role and stay there if you love it, or move to another position in the company. We also often hire management from our plant floor, so when you join the Cooper team the possibilities are endless," he added.

Jobs are available at Cooper's Texarkana plant for those with a wide variety of skill sets, interests and training. Positions are currently open for those without formal post-secondary education as well as those with technical degrees or experience in the skilled trades. From tire production to warehouse personnel, millwrights, industrial electricians, electronic technicians and more, Cooper is looking for those with a good work ethic and desire to learn. "We have a particular need right now for production workers, skilled trades, and engineers," Cole added.

Because it can be challenging to attract potentially qualified employees to manufacturing roles, Cooper takes part in The Manufacturing Institute's Dream It. Do It. initiative which encourages students to consider careers in manufacturing. In Texarkana, Cooper's "Dream Team" volunteers and others have hosted the Cooper Tire Manufacturing Experience at the Texarkana Convention Center for the past four years, with more than 1,000 students attending each of these events to learn through hands-on activities. In addition, throughout the year Cooper volunteers execute programs in local communities, including children's mentoring efforts, teaching in local middle schools using interactive manufacturing-related curriculum, and engaging in a number of community-based efforts to drive awareness about careers in manufacturing.

"It is really promising to think about how many students we've reached," said Cole. "From these experiences we hope they will consider jobs in manufacturing and some of the great opportunities available at Cooper."

For more information, visit coopertirecareers.com.

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