MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the electric truck and battery manufacturing plant Ford BlueOval City rises in Haywood County, about 40 miles north of Memphis, the company is also zeroing in and educating the public around the region about job opportunities.
Thursday, Project Director Ermal Faulkner spoke with students at Christian Brothers University, one of more than a dozen high schools and colleges across West Tennessee that Ford is connecting with to recruit and engage potential future workers.
That included CBU senior Ebuka Ibekwe.
"When I was first told about this by my professor I was elated," Ibekwe told ABC24.
His enthusiasm grew even more Thursday, after an informational meeting with Faulkner.
"It really shows that they actually want to invest in this local talent, because it starts here, in the high schools and colleges here in the city of Memphis," Ibekwe added.
BlueOval City won't begin building electric trucks and batteries until 2025 but the search for West Tennessee talent is already well underway.
"We are very excited to be here in the community we want to support the community, if it makes sense to hire, we want to hire here in the community as well," Faulkner said.
Faulkner estimates more than half of all construction jobs still need to be filled before the targeted peak construction next fall.
As for the 6,000 direct BlueOval City jobs, they'll be posted sometime in 2024, with a wide range of careers available.
"We are going to need every bit kind of talent to come on that campus whether it be HR because you'll have to have management people to finance you have to manage what's going on there, to engineering support to manufacturing obviously," Faulkner said.
Fellow CBU students took that message to heart.
"I feel that it will open a lot of opportunities for people like me, whether it be in HR or their marketing sector and just the amount of the departments and divisions at Ford," Kirsten Cox said.
"It's exciting, I'm looking forward to hearing more and hopefully seeing what the future holds for Ford and the state of Tennessee," Ibekwe added.
To find out you can apply for BlueOval City construction jobs, go here.
To learn more about what types of positions will be available when the facility opens, go here.