Mr. McKinley James is a Union Springs native who graduated from Bullock County High School. (Class of 1995) James graduated as the Salutatorian of his class and later went on to attend Alabama A&M University where he majored in Mechanical Engineering Technology.
Upon graduation (2000), James was employed as a Manufacturing Engineer with General Motors. He also continued his education and received an MBA from New York Institute of Technology (2002). James was an employee of GM for 18 years where he received many awards and numerous accomplishments. Some of those career highlights included, premiering on National TV’s History Channel and 2-time Modern Day Technology leader award recipient (Black Engineer of Year “BEYA”).
Over his 18-year career James received 7 promotions with that final being, Area Manager of manufacturing assembly in Spring Hill, TN. There James lead over 900 employees and was responsible for vehicle production of both the Cadillac XT6 and GMC Acadia (+150,000 units annually). James chose to leave General Motors in 2019 and become the Executive Plant Director for POLARIS INDUSTRIES at its Madison, TN location.
The Madison Alabama manufacturing location produces the Polaris Slingshot and Polaris Ranger. The facility produces over 100,000 units annually and has experienced unprecedented growth and demand during the pandemic. James hit the ground running after he started his role as Plant Director, growing the workforce from 1,300 to 2,100 employees. James attributes his personal and professional success to the Grace of God and his family support system.
With the most recent passing of his mother, Ms. Janie Mims, he has a renewed motivation to continue her legacy in the community and make her proud as she looks down from heaven. “My mom was a Minister of the Gospel and she was bold with her presentation. She never met a stranger and wanted to introduce everyone she could to salvation. She used her platform to impact the Union Springs community.
I plan to also use my platform for ministry, as I look to provide both spiritual and social economic growth to the local community. James commented, Bullock County, AL is a special place. In my personal time I often refer to it as “The Lock”. My teachers, coaches, classmates and friends were special. “The Lock” wasn’t perfect. We didn’t have state of the art facilities and huge shopping complexes, but what we did have was “Each Other” and that is what mattered the most.
This community has a ton of PRIDE and has prepared me to operate at all professional levels. “It Takes a Village” to raise a child” is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment. This is truly James’ testimony regarding Bullock County.
With the most recent Global Pandemic, Polaris Industries has experienced unprecedented growth and record sales. With the company’s 2020 performance, it has jumped to #407 on the FORBES, Fortune 500 company list. James and the Polaris facility are a significant stakeholder in this growth and in now in a position to expand even more.
With a need of approximately 500 employees, ranging from assemblers, welders, material handlers and equipment operators. James felt that this was a great opportunity to expand its employment reach to Middle Alabama. The Polaris Huntsville Human Resource team will be hosting a job fair on JULY 10th in Montgomery, AL.
The fair will be held at the Wingate By Wyndham. The Wingate is on Eastern Boulevard and will be conducted from 10am to 2pm. James and his team has developed a very competitive wage and relocation package, designed to attract top regional talent.
Package detail include, $5000 relocation bonus, $2500 signing bonus, annual profit sharing, ($4,500 in 2020), BCBS insurance, Day 1 benefits and $17.40 starting wage rates. I am extremely grateful to be able to provide this opportunity. We are expecting a successful event and look forward to providing many with an opportunity of a lifetime.