About 2,240 people registered online for the first 50 Volkswagen jobs, company officials said, but only about 100 people are invited for interviews today in Chattanooga.
Over the past two weeks, since the purchasing and procurement jobs were posted, the automaker’s Web site has had 7,630 hits, company spokeswoman Jill Bratina said.
The purchasing jobs are key to getting construction of the $1 billion plant going, officials have said. The goal is to have concrete poured at the Enterprise South industrial park site by year’s end.
Mike Beamish, executive vice president of human resources for Volkswagen Group of America, said the response to the job postings is overwhelming and VW officials are impressed with the quality of resumes and the skill sets of applicants.
“It’s important to note that this is only the first in a series of recruitment efforts,” he said about the interviews taking place at the Convention Center.
In September, the German company plans an “open house” to introduce itself to other job applicants and to suppliers, Ms. Bratina said.
“We have a lot of people interested in doing business with VW,” she said.
The open house date and location are not set, she said.
Mark Campbell, who owns the Manpower employment franchise in Chattanooga, said he’s not surprised by the number of applicants for the initial VW jobs.
“My gut feeling is that people want to get on the ground level of something that’s pretty monumental,” he said.
J.Ed. Marston, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s vice president for marketing, said the company has a strong reputation and the area has a diverse labor pool.
“We told them they’d receive many applications,” he said.
When the Chamber was recruiting VW, it provided the automaker with data that quantified the large number of people active in the job market, Mr. Marston said.
“Based on commuting patterns, we have a 17-county labor-draw area in three states,” he said.
Volkswagen expects to hire 2,000 people for the assembly plant. In addition, suppliers to the facility are likely to provide at least that many jobs, according to officials.
Mr. Beamish said resumes will be stored in a database and, with the assistance of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Volkswagen will draw from these candidates and others throughout the recruitment and selection process.
For the first batch of hirings, the company looked for candidates who had experience in purchasing, Ms. Bratina said. The company also eyed people with a background in the auto sector, though that wasn’t a requirement, she said.
Mr. Campbell thinks his company and those like it will see business resulting from VW’s decision to build its 1.9 million-square-foot plant in the city, though it may not be with the automaker or any new firm.
“There will be people from our existing client base that will go to one of these new facilities,” he said. “That’s going to create an opening ... that’s going to need to be filled.”
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...