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Published: Tuesday, 5/7/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Chrysler seeks more workers for Jeep plant

1,105 employees sought at Toledo Assembly

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Editor's note: Chrysler stopped taking applications as of 8:50 a.m. today.

If you missed your chance last summer to apply for one of the new jobs at Chrysler, you've got a second opportunity — but you need to act fast.

Beginning at 8 a.m. today, Chrysler Group LLC will collect another round of applications for the 1,105 jobs coming to the Toledo Assembly Complex later this year. Applications will not be taken at the plant or over the phone. The only way to apply is through the Web site ChryslerCareers.com.

Starting pay is $15.78 an hour. The jobs will be listed under the Production-Warehouse Jobs section of Chrysler's Web site.

Chrysler invested $500 million to expand the Toledo plant and outfit it with all-new line equipment to prepare for the launch of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

The vehicle, which replaces the Jeep Liberty, will eventually bring with it a second shift of workers.

The automaker collected thousands of applications for those new jobs in August, but a company spokesman said Monday they need to get more people into the hiring pool.

“We're looking for very qualified people that can start at a high level,” Chrysler spokesman Jodi Tinson said. “We're looking for folks that are passionate, that can bring their intelligence, their ideas, and their commitment for this very important launch.”

Some hiring already has occurred. Dan Henneman, Jeep unit chairman for UAW Local 12, said 100 workers started last week. He said the process is going well.

Chrysler isn't saying how many slots are left, or how many applications it will collect before the window closes. However, it isn't expected to be open long.

Last summer, it took Chrysler less than 36 hours to gather its target number of applicants.

Most, but not all, of the new hires will work on the second shift, which is expected to start sometime in August. The vehicle should be in dealer's showrooms sometime in the year's third quarter.

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. Manufacturing experience is not required.

Chrysler says working in an auto assembly plant today requires a broader, more complex skill set than it once did.

“The days of coming to work and just assembling a vehicle are no longer,” Ms. Tinson said. “You have to be somebody who can participate in the World Class Manufacturing process by being a part of improving the processes, making sure every vehicle comes off the line with the highest quality. It's a different kind of job than it used to be.”

World Class Manufacturing is an initiative developed by Chrysler parent company Fiat SpA aimed at reducing waste and improving productivity. The Toledo Assembly Complex is one of Chrysler's highest-scoring facilities in implementing the process.

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


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