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Mazda Toyota expects to hire 7% of those who apply

GREENBRIER – A Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA official said Thursday the application process for jobs at the plant is relatively simple and initially done online, but the percentage of applicants who will land a job is low.

Lyndsay Ferguson, assistant manager of human resources of staffing and development for Mazda Toyota, said interested persons should visit and click on production job opportunities. The $1.6 billion plant is expected to have close to 4,000 workers when it reaches full staffing in 2022.

The joint venture will produce Mazda and Toyota sport utility vehicles with production expected to begin in spring 2021, she said.

Ferguson said production jobs will begin at $17 an hour.

“Team members are eligible for wage progression increases each six months from the start rate of $17 to the top rate of $23 over a six-year period,” she said.

She said the initial screening of applicants is accomplished online.

“At the beginning stages, everything goes through an automation process,” Ferguson said after speaking at the Decatur Kiwanis Club meeting Thursday. “Are you willing to work rotating shifts, willing and able to work overtime, willing to consent to a drug screening and background check?”

Ferguson, who was hired in August, said once the basic questions are completed, candidates will take an assessment that lasts about 1½ to 2 hours.

“If they successfully pass the assessment, they will immediately be picked for a day of work assessment,” she said. “(The candidate will schedule) and they come to the assessment center. … After that, they will be given a timeline.”

After completion of the application process, company officials said it may take three months or more before an offer is extended.

Ferguson said Mazda Toyota eventually will have two production shifts — 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 3:45 a.m. — Monday through Friday. Employees will work rotating shifts every four weeks.

She said the hours allow both shifts to spend time with their families and school-age children.

“Among the many things we’ve looked at is how do we ensure people on that second shift still have access or opportunity to see family members or see children if that is something they have in their lives that is important to them?” she said. “Also traffic patterns were a consideration too — coming and going from the plant.”

The physical impact of shift rotations also was considered, she said.

“Also, health and wellness was another factor. How long does it take for your body to adjust to being on a set schedule and readjust to the different shifts? We have health and wellness specialists on staff to have programs in place so we can support team members to set them up for success on that schedule and rhythm as well.”

Toni Eberhard of corporate communications with Mazda Toyota said in an email Thursday that “the grand majority of our applications to date have come from within the 75-mile radius surrounding our plant location where we concentrate our recruiting efforts. However, we have received one applicant from the Bahamas and another from India.”

Eberhard said Mazda Toyota “anticipates the need to receive between 40,000 and 50,000 total applications over the two-year mass hiring process in order to satisfy our need for 3,000 production team members to support the plant.”

“This is due to the 7% pass rate through our application and assessment process,” she continued.

Ferguson said team members will likely receive benefits that help them purchase Mazda and Toyota vehicles.

Hiring for the majority of the planned jobs, including 600 jobs for skilled labor and professional staff, will be complete sometime in 2022. The plant hopes to have 3,186 production team members by 2022, according to data provided by Ferguson. That includes 791 involved in vehicle body specialties, 411 in paint, 1,622 in assembly and 362 in quality.

Ferguson said Mazda Toyota presently has 300 employees.

Ferguson said job candidates who have experience in industrial maintenance and specific skills won’t be guaranteed jobs, but it will help once they are on board.

“It doesn’t change the way they would go through the initial part of the (hiring) process, but it may help in determining where they will be placed,” she said. “Industrial maintenance is a big area of focus for us even though we don’t have a facility yet. It is a critical need for us for the foreseeable future.”

Feguson said about 2,500 construction workers are at the site as they build the 3.7 million-square-foot facility in the Greenbrier area of Limestone County.

– From The Decatur Daily



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