Volkswagen means the “people’s car” in German, and now it means the people of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s car. On July 15, 2008 Chattanooga, in one of the city’s most significant economic developments in decades, was chosen as the next site for the German based car manufacturer. By 2011 a newly designed midsize sedan, specifically for the needs of North American drivers, will roll off the assembly lines at Enterprise South, Chattanooga’s premier mega-site. Chattanooga, one of the South’s most transformed city’s, was chosen because of its’ environmental and core values. According to the Chattanoogan.com, Stephan Jacoby, Volkswagen of America president, said that Chattanooga was a community where “the heritage and values” were in line with those of Volkswagen and that they have found an ideal home.
Chattanoogans are well aware that this will change their community forever but many are unsure how it will impact their personal careers. The city is abuzz with questions about employment opportunities and needs. Never experiencing a car industry’s employment opportunities, many Chattanooga residents wonder when the first interviews, job postings, and list of requirements and qualifications for the proposed 2000 positions will be available. According to their official website, Volkswagen released its first job postings on their website July 18.
So far the needs arising are what can be expected when a plant has not even been constructed yet:
Buyer MRO, Facility Construction/Infrastructure
Buyer – Electronic Components
Supplier Readiness Coordinator
VW Purchasing Positions
Buyer, Maintenance Repair and Operations for Infrastructure and Final Assembly
Though the facility is only in the planning stages it is safe to assume that Volkswagen will have calls for standard automotive skilled jobs that will provide for many career opportunities. Talented individuals will be needed in the plants who are skilled:
Supervisors and managers
Inspectors and testers
Welding, brazing and soldering workers
Metal and plastic workers
Standards in the industry usually require at least a high school diploma or GED. A work record of good attendance and the ability to excel in teamwork is imperative. As the industry has grown technologically it is also a good idea to have some basic computer skills since you will be in a work environment increasingly technical. On the job training, on site training or classes at nearby technical college Chattanooga State will most likely be provided once you are hired. Some auto manufacturers even offer formal apprenticeship programs.
According to television station WDEF in Chattanooga, the company confirmed plans for a job fair this fall but for now there is a sign on the door of the Tennessee Career Center stating clearly there are no job applications for VW yet. Many experts advise that patience and use of the time to improve your own personal resume will improve your chances to be a new Volkswagen employee. Chattanooga State Technical Community College is looking at adding classes to their curriculum that are auto industry specific. With expectations of the average yearly pay at Volkswagen of Chattanooga being $50,000, an investment now in your future can definitely pay off.