Despite a competitive employment environment, Volkswagen is looking to dramatically increase its Chattanooga, Tennessee, workforce. The German automaker announced May 18 it would seek to hire 1,000 new employees to add a third shift at Volkswagen Chattanooga assembly plant and drive production for three VW models, including the electric ID.4.
According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, the March unemployment rate in Chattanooga, Tennessee is 2.9%, and VW already employs more than 4,000 people at the plant. In order to coax yet more Chattanoogans to join, VW said it would offer a $3,000 sign-on bonus to anyone hired between May 16 and October 31 this year.
“We intend to be the top manufacturing employer in the area,” said VP of HR at Volkswagen Chattanooga, Burkhard Ulrich in a statement.
The third shift at Volkswagen Chattanooga will be used to assemble three VW models for the North American market; the Volkswagen Atlas SUV, Atlas Cross Sport, and electric ID.4. Volkswagen says the new shift will help meet customer demand for those models.
The automaker also plans to use referrals to help drive recruitment. Ulrich noted the company would increase its “employee referral incentive” from $300 to $500.
“For us, this was an easy decision,” said Ulrich, who said “some of our best hires” have come from referrals.