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Published: Wednesday, 8/15/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Chrysler accepting job applicants

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Editor's Note: As of 3:00 p.m. August 15, Chrysler announced it had reached its target number of applications and would not be accepting any more. Click here for full story.

Chrysler Group LLC has begun accepting applications for the new workers it will need next year when the automaker launches an all-new Jeep and a second shift at the Toledo Assembly complex.

Although the jobs have been long anticipated — Chrysler announced in November it would spend $500 million at the Toledo complex and create 1,100 jobs — until Tuesday morning it had been a waiting game for the thousands of people expected to show interest in the jobs.

Now that the application window has opened, company officials say prospective applicants need to act quickly.

"The reality is, we have not hired hourly employees in a very long time, especially in Toledo," Chrysler spokesman Jodi Tinson said. "When those jobs become available people are certainly very interested. It is not for somebody to sit around and think about it. If you are truly interested, you need to apply as soon as you can."

All applications must be submitted through ChryslerCareers.com.

Company officials emphasized that applications will not be accepted at the plant or by phone or email.The only way to apply for one of the 1,105 jobs is through the Web site.

When the company gets a predetermined number of applicants — a number it did not make public — it will no longer accept applications.

Len Sennish, human resource manager at the Toledo Assembly complex, said Tuesday afternoon that more than 2,000 people had applied in the first 12 hours the positions were open.

Chrysler officials said a recent opening in Detroit attracted enough applicants in a matter of hours.

The hiring is open to anyone who meets the job qualifications. Chrysler does not have any laid-off employees with call-back rights and will give no preference to friends or family members of the current Toledo work force.

"On the Web site it'll simply ask you how you found out about it," said Dan Henneman, Jeep unit chairman for UAW Local 12.

"People can put the UAW, but there's no reference number, nowhere to put anybody's name on there. None of that."

Later this week Chrysler will shut down the Jeep Liberty line for several months after the last Liberty rolls off.

Work will begin immediately to prepare for a new model that will go into production next year.

The new hires will come into the plant in two waves as work resumes.

The first group, which will be smaller and mainly will supplement the returning first shift, probably would come on in February.

The second group, which will be larger and will fill the new second shift, will come into the plant in July.

New hires will be paid $15.78 an hour. The hourly wage will increase to $19.28 by the end of the current contract between the UAW and Chrysler.

Mayor Mike Bell's office praised the effect of the new jobs for the greater Toledo area.

"Certainly those 1,100 jobs are going to make a difference for the families of northwest Ohio that have been waiting for the economic recovery to hit their households," city spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei said. "The mayor is extremely pleased to continue working with Chrysler to support their efforts toward job creation in Toledo and he appreciates the Chrysler commitment to Toledo's work force and the city that is the birthplace of Jeep."

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, be willing to work different shifts and weekends, and be able to pass a drug screening.

Experience is not required.

Officials said auto work has changed significantly since the days of old — and even since the last time Chrysler hired in Toledo.

With more focus on worker ergonomics and eliminating wasted movement, work is less grueling than it once was. But jobs also are more advanced.

"A by-product of that is that with the renewed focus on continuous improvement, the expectation in these jobs is that because you're not physically working so hard, that there's the opportunity to be more engaged in understanding the process, understanding the equipment, understanding the product, knowing more about the suppliers, and more about the customers so that you can actively participate in making improvements to how the work gets done," Mr. Sennish said.

Chrysler's hiring Web site includes detailed videos to give potential applicants a clear view of the nature of the work and what is expected of employees inside the factory.

Union and company officials said the job isn't for everyone.

"You need a person who's dedicated and willing to work long hours. It's more than just a job. We work 10 hours a day, six days a week. It's a commitment. You're building cars for people to [transport] their families in," Mr. Henneman said.

"We have a reputation to uphold of building the best world-class vehicles."

Because of the volume of applications — as many as 8,000 to 10,000 are expected to apply for 1,105 jobs — officials said it will take some time to complete the first part of the screening process.

How to apply:

Officials say interested people should apply as soon as possible, because they expect to reach their target number of applicants quickly. The window will close when that happens.

All applications must be submitted through the ChryslerCareers.com Web site. The job listing for Toledo can be found by going to "search jobs" and then entering the job No. 999575 or by navigating to the Production-Warehouse Jobs section. Company officials said applications will not be accepted at the plant or by phone or email.

Starting pay is $15.78 an hour.

Direct links to the online applications:

http://find.chryslercareers.com/s/Production-Warehouse/Production-Occupations/Xjcp-cl289866-jf406-ct100228-coUS

http://find.chryslercareers.com/s/Job-Details/Production-Operator-Job/Toledo-OH/xjdp-cl289866-jf406-ct100228-jid14257342-coUS

Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: tlinkhorn@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.



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