Volkswagen is conducting a national search to fill some of the 1,000 new jobs at its Chattanooga plant.
The German automaker told The Associated Press on Monday that it is using a national print and online advertising campaign to fill specialty positions, including maintenance technicians, manufacturing engineers and logistics supervisors.
Officials stress that VW seeks to hire locally as much as possible, but the specialized experience needed for the new jobs requires casting a wider net. The ads seek to make the Chattanooga location a selling point.
"Thanks to the fact that our plant is located in one of America's most up-and-coming towns, our employees aren't just building great cars, they're building great lives as well," according to one of the print ads.
Gov. Bill Haslam said that although he is "disappointed" Volkswagen is looking outside Chattanooga and Tennessee, he understands why the company is doing so.
"We've actually had those discussions with Volkswagen and they told us they were going to advertise in those places," Haslam told reporters. "And I think it's a reflection of what I've been saying all along. We really do have to train more students" in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The governor said company officials have told him "we love being in Tennessee. Everything has been better than we expected except we really need you to produce more, qualified engineering" graduates and "other technical degrees as well."
"So are we disappointed? Yeah sure," Haslam said. "We always want people to hire folks from Tennessee. But what we're doing is putting in action the plans, the programs that hopefully will solve the problems down the road."