Continental Tire Plant Celebrates 40 Years

Tools

By Matthew Searcy

MT. VERNON -- Continental Tire in Mt. Vernon celebrated Labor Day in a special way this year. The manufacturer is marking 40 years of business in Mt. Vernon. 

On Monday, company leaders threw a party for workers and their families. More than a thousand people showed up to the Continental Tire plant to mark four decades in Jefferson County, including the company's longest tenured employees. 
 
"No I didn't think I would be here forty years later," said Continental Tire employee Mark Simmons. "We've worked really hard and you see what we have built from what was just a cornfield when I first came out here." 
     
Simmons is one of 12 employees recognized by the company for forty years of service. A list that includes Robert Irving Jr, "When I first started we were curing 100 tires a day. Now we are curing 35,000 tires a day." 
 
The technician says the friendships he's created at the site have helped him remain loyal to the company for the last four decades.  
 
"You get as close to people out here as you do your family," said Irving Jr. 
 
As they celebrate this major milestone, leaders have their sights set on the future. Continental is currently expanding its warehouse, which will add more jobs and allow the manufacturer to become more efficient.   
 
"Instead of moving them to distribution centers around the world and having to move them a second time, we want to keep all of the volume at the plant and shipped directly," said plant manager Benny Harmse. "That's the strategy behind the warehouse expansion." 
 
Continental employees broke a Guinness World record by stacking tires more than 20 feet high. Beating the previous record by more than a foot. 
 
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