The Houston Chronicle, 5/12/8

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is putting an optimistic spin on Toyota’s decision to wait a few extra months to open its auto manufacturing plant in Blue Springs.

Barbour said Monday that the delay until mid-2010 could mean there is a “higher likelihood” Toyota will train the plant’s first assembly line workers in Mississippi since the plant would be fully built, rather than sending them to another of the company’s sites out of state.

“For our community college instructors to learn how to teach that, to learn it on the newest, most sophisticated equipment, will be a boon for Mississippi,” Barbour said in response to questions during a news conference at the state Capitol.

Toyota officials announced in early 2007 that the company had chosen a 1,700-acre site in northeast Mississippi to build the company’s eighth North American auto manufacturing plant. The Highlander sport utility vehicle will be built there.