Fiat Chrysler has hired 4,100 Detroiters as the automaker converts and expands its plants on the city’s east side.
Mayor Mike Duggan says the city’s “Detroit-At-Work” program helped city residents get the jobs.
“We had 10,000 Detroiters we thought were qualified that we provided to FCA on a list,” Duggan says. “5,500 of them were invited into interviews.”
“This means everything. I can take care of my family now. Being a part of history, this is the Motor City.” — David Johnson, Detroit resident who is currently working at an FCA’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant
The $2.5 billion Detroit Assembly Complex is expected to fill nearly 5,000 full-time positions, starting out at $17 an hour. FCA is prioritizing hiring city residents as part of Detroit’s Community Benefits Ordinance.
“The obligation with the City of Detroit at [the Mack plant] is 3,850 jobs,” says Ron Stallworth, who manages external affairs for FCA. “Thus far we have made offers that exceed that number.” Stallworth says FCA is still discussing where its Metro Detroit workforce will be spread once construction of the project completes.
The deal also has other community benefit provisions for people living next to the project. During a meeting regarding the project earlier this month, Detroit City Councilmember Raquel Castañeda-López says she’s fielded many complaints from neighboring residents.
“As it relates to truck traffic,” says Castañeda-López. “As it relates to air quality and the ongoing permit process with EGLE and as it relates to home repair.”
Many workers are starting work at FCA’s other plants in Michigan, before the Detroit Assembly Complex begins operations next spring. The factory will produce the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango.
“This means everything,” says David Johnson, a Detroit resident who is currently working at an FCA’s Warren Truck Assembly Plant. “I can take care of my family now. Being a part of history, this is the Motor City.”
Nicole Sherard-Freeman with the city’s workforce development program says Detroit partnered with the automaker to ensure city residents were hired.
“We ran more than 1,100 events with dozens of community partners, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, neighborhood groups,” says Sherard-Freeman. “There were thousands of Detroiters on that list.”
Sherard-Freeman says the city is speaking with Amazon to replicate the FCA workforce model, as the company takes over the former Michigan State Fairgrounds site. She says the Amazon distribution center is expected to create 1,200 jobs in the city – with no guarantees Detroiters will be hired for that project.