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ultimately contribute $12 billion towards income growth in
Tennessee and $1.4 billion in the state’s total tax revenues.
Contracts awarded to Chattanooga and Tennessee business dur-
ing construction already total $686 million, with another $230
million in additional construction projects projected over the
next 20 years. Indeed, job creation will be a significant factor
for Chattanooga’s economic resurgence. VW will directly
employ more than 2,000, with another 9,500 employees pro-
jected as a secondary effect of the investment.
Fischer says that VW received more than 65,000 job applica-
tions for available positions. Even with such an extensive labor
pool to choose from, thorough and efficient training is as essen-
tial as the plant’s design. “We’ve established a training academy
that all employees must complete,” Fischer notes. “We hired our
first thousand employees this past August, so we now have a sen-
ior leadership team in place that will help us train the class of
the next thousand employees. We’re looking not only to develop
the skills we need, but also to promote satisfying employee rela-
tionships that will result in long-term loyalty.”
The importance of education extends beyond in-house train-
ing. VW has contributed $5.28 million in support of Partners in
Education in Tennessee, which provides grant funding to local
schools and colleges. In addition, the company’s successful effort
to achieve a diversified and inclusive workforce was recently rec-
ognized by the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga, who
awarded the company its Corporate Leadership Award. “We
value the diversity of the work teams we create,” Fischer says.
“We hire men and women from a wide range of ethnicities and
cultural backgrounds. This ensures that we reflect community
values, not just in the work we do in making cars, but as engaged
members of the larger business and city communities.”
Fischer adds that VW also supports local charities and that the
company matches employee donations up to $5,000.
The Chattanooga plant is heading into its final laps, scheduled
to be fully operational in 2011.
Pictured above: The new sedan will be bigger than the present Passat model;
below: Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant in Hamilton County - the first
domestic VW plant in some 30 years.