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Ford looking for a diverse workforce for Blue Oval City

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 10:20 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Ford will host an informational meeting in Memphis Thursday for small businesses interested in working in Blue Oval City - the proposed electric truck manufacturing plant in Haywood County.

Trucks should start rolling off the production line in 2025. Before that happens, the truck plant and infrastructure need to be built, and local small business owners hope to get a piece of that huge construction pie.

Ford’s leadership team is in Memphis this week along with representatives from Walbridge, the lead contractor on Blue Oval City. They’ll be meeting with 500 small business owners at the Renasant Convention Center downtown to talk about subcontracting opportunities on what will be Ford’s largest project in the automaker’s 118-year history.

“Diversity is core to who Ford is,” said Greg Christensen, director of Ford’s North America Electric Vehicle Footprint. “One of our key focuses is to ensure that local businesses, minority-owned, women, those with disabilities, and veterans are really represented in this workforce.”

Blue Oval City will be built 40 miles from Memphis on a nearly six-mile square site. The electric truck factory and a battery plant, operated by SK Innovation, will employ nearly 6,000 people. Another 30,000 workers are needed for the construction of the campus.

“Our customers are diverse,” said Christensen. “Our existing workforce is diverse. Memphis and the work done here is just going to build on that great foundation.”

The first step for Ford identifying and hiring subcontractors to build the plant, followed by a groundbreaking later this year.

“And so we want to make sure that everyone that has an interest in becoming part of the project gets a chance to showcase who they are and what they bring to the table,” said Christensen.

All 500 slots are filled for the first informational session. If you’re a small business owner interested in learning about Blue Oval opportunities, they’re setting up a website called walbridgeblueoval.com. The website is expected to go live Thursday.

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