published Friday, July 29th, 2011

VW hits 2,000 workers at Chattanooga plant

Annette Reeves works at the Volkswagen plant in this file photo.
Annette Reeves works at the Volkswagen plant in this file photo.
Photo by Angela Lewis.
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Volkswagen has hired its 2,000th employee at its Chattanooga auto assembly plant, the company said today.

Amanda Sullivan of Cleveland, Tenn., was the 2,000th employee to be hired. She is a production team member in training to work in the assembly shop, according to the automaker.

Hiring will continue through early fall at which time there will be about 2,300 employees at the facility, officials said.

“The Volkswagen Chattanooga team is highly motivated, ultra-professional and takes great pride in the 2012 Passat that we build,” said Frank Fischer, VW’s chief executive in Chattanooga. “We have the right people in place and they are committed to the highest quality standards each and every day.”

Hans Herbert Jagla, executive vice president for human resources in Chattanooga, said officials are “very excited to have hired our 2,000th employee and to have reached this milestone which fulfills our promise to Chattanooga and Hamilton County.”

See Saturday’s Times Free Press for more VW coverage.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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timbo said...

who cares? 600,000,000 dollars wasted ,less than 400 local employees were hired. where are the 20,000 jobs ?almost no satellite jobs . this is a huge boondoggle . that affects about .6 percent of the working population in this area .don't believe me ,goto b l s.gov and see for yourself .

July 29, 2011 at 2:41 p.m.
tifosi said...

There are definitely more than 400 locals. There are 100 locals in the maintenance depts. alone. I work out there and 99% of the production floor are from Hamilton County. Get your facts straight and quit the mean-spirited lies.

July 29, 2011 at 4:40 p.m.
charleneschwenk said...

How hard did those workers get hit? Was it a Passat or something else that hit them?

July 29, 2011 at 4:41 p.m.
timbo said...

tifosi Yea you don't care about the rest of us because you've got your job on the backs of the tax payers. If they are mostly from Hamilton County, then why haven't the Bureau of Labor statistics employment numbers changed. If 2,000 people were hired the unemployment numbers would have changed. They haven't moved in 18 months. Why did the taxpayer provide $40,000,000 in cash for "relocation expenses." Maybe you should be more informed. Google the "Memorandum of Agreement" between the state, county and city. It is horrifying what we gave away for .6% of the working population. In essence you have a government job.

I am a business owner and it is not up to me to subsidize your damn job. It is unconstitutional,socialistic, and wrong for the government to pick the winners and losers. I might be "mean spirited" but at least I am not stealing your money to help my business.

You should get down on your knees and thank the taxpayers and the rest of these lame politicians that made this sorry deal. You selfish people make me sick.

July 29, 2011 at 7 p.m.
Humphrey said...

forty million dollars in cash?

July 29, 2011 at 9:28 p.m.
timbo said...

Absolutely, it is in the "memoradum of agreement" along with a lot of other atrocities. We got screwed. It will never pay off. Look at the BLS.gov website and go to "At a Glance" tables for states and areas. When you look at the history you will see that this is a big lie about local hiring.

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tifosi said...

Timbo has just proved that he is providing inaccurate information. If the BLS has not updated in 18 months (his words) proves that his accusations are misleading. He is arguing with outdated statistics. Volkswagen has hired over a thousand employees since then. So have the suppliers that have located here. This was incredible investment that has put Tennessee at the forefront of the auto industry. Much more economic vitality will come. Thank you Phil Bredesen and Claude Ramsey for having the foresight and commitment to adavance our state. It is about more than just direct jobs. It is also about the secondary and tertiary revenues and jobs that result too. Timbo needs to attend Economics 101 at UTC. The naysayers are living in the stone age. Timbo... this is for you http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

July 30, 2011 at 10:01 a.m.
rolando said...

Now if the new employees can only keep the furshluginer [tip of the hat to Mad Mag] unions out of here, VW might make a go of it.

Good cite, tifosi.

July 30, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

What about the 400 Detroit workers that are flying home every weelend? Why don't they move here? Why aren't they buying houses here? Contributing to the tax base...Mine's for sale...And I live next door to a VW manager!!

I'd whole lot rather live here than in DETROIT of all places!!!

Or are they the ones trying to bring the Unions in here???

July 30, 2011 at 11:58 a.m.
timbo said...

Tifosi ... obviously you can't comprehend data. I said that the local jobs didn't show up. I meant that if the workers came from out of town, the number of employees would go up, but the number of unemployed would not change. If 2000 jobs were created and their are about 230,000 workers in our area and locals filled those jobs. The unemployment rate would have dropped 2 %. It did not drop anywhere near that much!!!!!! This make it obvious that the bulk of the workers came from outside our area. Number don't lie.

Also, they paid twice as much as the next offer from Alabama at 387 million. We paid $600,000 million. Claude Ramsey is a political hack and got taken to the cleaners by the Germans.

Since you, or anybody else, can even look for yourselves and analyze numbers, here is the BLS info. In May of 2009, Total employment was 232,254), in 2010 it was 234,985, in May of 2011 it was 242,024. This means that several job sectors including VW contributed to an increase in employment. Most came from Leisure and Hospitality and Government, but some from Manufacturing.

Last year the total number of unemployed was 21,490 and in May of 2011 it was 22,197 that is an increase of 707 jobs, not 2,000. What is says is that there was a slight increase in employment of local people. Part of that was due to VW. That number is around 387, not 2000. It is obvious to anyone with an IQ of a slug, that this was not a boon to local employment. Numbers don't lie. Mindless cheerleaders like you do.

July 30, 2011 at 2:49 p.m.
timbo said...

Also, one more thing. Spending almost all of our money on .6% of the total jobs is stupid. What if you spent $600,000 on the almost 180,000 people in our area employed by small business. How many jobs would that produce? This town has it's priorities mixed up.

This deal was DUMB.

July 30, 2011 at 3:06 p.m.
tifosi said...

The $600K that you speak of is primarily from the State of Tennessee. You should be looking at the state as a whole, not just here. I transplanted from the Knoxville area and now spend my money locally. Perhaps even in your business. I definitely benefitted from the taxpayer's generosity. I had been unemployed for a year and I am working very hard to insure that OUR plant will be successful and remains a vital part of OUR community for a long time.

July 30, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
tifosi said...

The deal is done and it is now time to make the most of it. We have to get this plant running, espcially since another plant next to it is very likely. Depends on how we do. All eyes in Wolfsburg are on us. We all would like a little more support and a little less criticism.

July 30, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.
inthemiddle said...

Hey Timbo, Did you ever think that some of these people were already employed and left a job to take this one? That means they have always been employed and therefore the numbers wouldn't have changed.
I am not one for government subsidies but what has been subsidized here? There has been over a billion dollars contributed to the system. Regardless if they pay taxes or not that's a billion dollars being injected somewhere. I too have run my own business and to say that I could contribute to the community the way they have is absurd. When you can roll out a hundred or more cars a day then complain, until then be glad there are employed people in a private company doing business with you and helping you pay your taxes.

July 30, 2011 at 9:31 p.m.
DannyHuttar said...

This is good news. At least, VW has provided lots of jobs for people and I believe that they hired people with lots of automotive knowledge to further improve their car models.

August 20, 2011 at 9:03 p.m.
chrishillesland said...

I agree with Danny. This is a good news since new concept of auto parts will be produced aside from jobs it will create for people. I'm really waiting for the new hypertech that VW Chattanooga will launched in the future.

August 31, 2011 at 11:45 p.m.
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