The pledge to keep production of the iconic Jeep Wrangler in Toledo was a tremendous opportunity for Lucas County. It brought the promise of nearly 1,000 new jobs at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Toledo North Assembly Plant and hundreds of new jobs to suppliers for the new vehicle.
The Lucas County Department of Planning & Development had to act quickly to ensure that local people could take advantage of life-changing opportunities and that the new facilities could access the workers they needed.
WorkReady Manufacturing, adapted from our WorkReady Lucas County program, allowed us to nimbly assist these companies in their recruitment efforts. We launched the program with our OhioMeansJobs Lucas County Partners to ensure that local manufacturing employers have the workers they need, both now and in the future.
“Our WorkReady Manufacturing Program is an extended arm of our WorkReady Lucas County program,” said Tonia Saunders, a planning and development manager with the Lucas County Department of Planning and Development. “It is more comprehensive; it isn’t just to make sure individuals have their applications or their resumes.”
Saunders continued: “We are dealing with real barriers – transportation, daycare issues, background blemishes…. We are getting to the heart of the matter and helping people achieve their goals.”
Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS) Mass Hiring Event
On Sept. 13, 2017, hopefuls from across the region attended a mass hiring event at the OhioMeansJobs Lucas County office in Downtown Toledo for over 100 job openings at the forthcoming DMS factory, a Tier 1 supplier for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.
DMS partnered with the Lucas County Department of Planning and Development and OhioMeansJobs for this event and is utilizing other workforce development services to bring on qualified candidates for their new location.
According to Roslyn Wallace, the human resources manager at DMS, CEO Andra Rush chose to open a new location in Toledo in order to put people back to work and, in turn, revitalize the community.
Part of doing so is meeting with all job applicants, regardless of their criminal backgrounds or barriers to employment. “We want to help to build a community that grows and flourishes,” Wallace said.
Recruitment Assistance for Wrangler Production Workers
As a part of their efforts to prepare for production of their newly redesigned 2018 Jeep Wrangler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) knew that they had to hire more than 1,000 new employees to meet consumer demand for the product.
The Lucas County Department of Planning and Development and our OhioMeansJobs partners have committed to providing assistance with the immense numbers of interviews and assessments FCA has conducted in order to meet their production goals.
To date, we have assisted with over 500 such assessments. Our staff has committed hundreds of hours on-site at the Toledo North Assembly Plant, working with our FCA partners so they can be ready to deliver the new model of their signature product in spring 2018.