Hino Motors WV team receives recognition in Japan

Williamstown workers honored at event in Tokyo

Photo Provided Williamstown-based Hino Motors WV received recognition last month for the efforts of its Quality Circle team. The team members are, from left, Mary Stacy, Jason Sprouse, Amber Hoyt, Lynn Wiblin and Nikole Bolen.

WILLIAMSTOWN –A team of local Hino employees is celebrating honors recently received at an international convention in Japan.

Five members of the Williamstown Hino Motors Manufacturing plant were invited to attend the third annual Global Hino Motors Quality Circle held Sept. 20 at the Keio Plaza Hachoiji in Tokyo, Japan.

The Hino Motors WV team received recognition for its Quality Circle project, which was presented at the convention.

Quality Circles — a tool used by many manufacturing companies globally — are used to promote Kaizen, or continuous improvement. Quality Circle teams are formed to investigate safety or quality issues which can be resolved in a timely manner to positively impact team member’s jobs and performance.

The Hino Motors WV team was called “The Culture Club” because it included member from five different departments. The five members were Amber Hoyt, Lynn Wiblin, Mary Stacy, Jason Sprouse and Nikole Bolen. Two of the members — Hoyt and Wiblin — attended the conference in Japan, along with advisor Lee Johnson and translator Tamayo Nisbet.

Photo Provided The Hino WV Quality Circles team received an award for its presentation during the conference in Japan. Quality Circles groups help identify areas of safety or quality improvement in the workplace.

“This was the first time we’ve ever participated in the conference,” Johnson said. “This was a huge deal.”

Johnson said the convention was an opportunity for the West Virginia team to experience Hino Global and to share and receive ideas.

“It allowed Quality Circles from all over the world to come together and see a beautiful county, culture and experience Hino Manufacturing,” he said.

“It was great to be able to go and represent Hino and my team here,” Hoyt said. “Every bit of it was amazing.”

Johnson said it was important to let people know about this experience because they might not realize the value an international company like Hino places on its employees in West Virginia.

Photo Provided Hino WV Quality Circle team members Amber Hoyt, left, and Lynn Wiblin, right, were able to attend an international Hino conference in Japan along with advisor Lee Johnson, center.

“We want to let the community know there are these kinds of opportunities here,” he said.

Johnson held a cookout for the team Saturday to celebrate its accomplishments.

“It’s just a way to thank everyone,” he said.

Hino Motors employs about 300 people at its Williamstown manufacturing plan. The company just announced a multi-million dollar expansion at the old Coldwater Creek facility, which will generate upwards of 250 new jobs.