Ford has made a commitment to hire 12,000 additional people by the end of 2015, which is great news for the local economy. The Ford president for the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, says that it is likely that this number will be surpassed.
The reason for the increase of employment numbers with Ford has to do with a new van. The 2015 Ford Transit is a van that is being built at the Kansas City plant and will be sold in the United States for the first time ever. Over $1 billion has already been invested into the production of the commercial van. More people are being added to the workforce in order to produce the vans on schedule.
The majority of the employees being added are new hires and this is increasing the plant employment by one-third. There are a total of three crews at the Kansas City plant. With the new employees that have been added, Ford is a little more than 75 percent over the goal to add 12,000 new jobs across the U.S. by the end of 2015.
The increase in jobs was part of a commitment made to the UAW in 2011. In addition to employees being added in Kansas City, there have been additions in Flat Rock, Louisville, Lima, Ohio and the Michigan assembly plant. Another 300 jobs are anticipated to be added to the Cleveland engine plant by the end of the year.
Solely in 2014, approximately 5,000 people will be hired by Ford to support the growth. These jobs are both hourly and salaried. There are more launches planned in North American than previous years, which is what keeps the need for new employees at a focus. With shifts at the plants in terms of the models produced, it has allowed Ford to focus on new products, including the new van.