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Minority-run businesses prioritized for job slots in Ford's Blue Oval City project

The project is expected to create nearly 6,000 direct jobs and tens of thousands of other temporary construction or indirect jobs.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — ABC24 learned new details Wednesday about the largest investment in Tennessee history and in Memphis' backyard: Ford's Blue Oval City.

Those details were outlined in an informational session held at Lemoyne-Owen College in South Memphis.

The project will build Ford electric trucks and their batters at a mega site in Haywood County. It's expected to create nearly 6,000 direct jobs and tens of thousands of other temporary construction or indirect jobs. Memphis-area business owners are thrilled that their opportunity to contribute in a once in a lifetime opportunity.

"Man, I'm tickled pink! Can't you tell?" Larry Robinson said. "I mean, Memphis is growing, Memphis is changing right before our eyes!"

Robinson's passion is undeniable. He founded Kudzukian, a local audio and video company, that produced Wednesday's Ford Blue Oval City update to the public.

"In order for us to continue to grow and provide a tremendous opportunity for the citizens in this community, it takes entities like a Ford," Robinson added.

RELATED: 'We think it's generational' | Ford Motor Company details 'Blue Oval City' plans for Haywood County

That's why anticipation is high for Robinson, and many other Memphis business owners, as they await the first postings for construction and other job opportunities at the planned Ford electric truck and battery production site in Haywood County. 

"Small business is critical and so by Ford coming in and talking and specifically being intentional with engaging with small businesses, it says a lot about who they are and the impact they want to have on this community," Robinson said.

Those overseeing the planning for Blue Oval City reiterated they will prioritize Mid-South workers and minority-run businesses to fill thousands of job slots. 

"If you are capable and you are local and you want to get involved, reach out, and if you've got the skill set, we'd love to bring you on," Ford Blue Oval City Director Ermal Faulkner said.

Construction jobs will be the first available once Blue Oval City breaks ground sometime in the coming months.

RELATED: Union jobs? Ford's plan for new EV factories in Tennessee & Kentucky raises question

Those with Ford said engineers and those in operations will likely be the first permanent job postings made available as early as fall 2023. That's ahead of the site's still on schedule launch in 2025.

"I think this is an extraordinary opportunity, particularly for West Tennessee," Faulkner added. "We are going to bring in a lot of jobs, a lot of businesses will be needed to support what it is that we are doing."

RELATED: Opinion | If all goes as planned, the economy of the Greater Memphis region is about to change for the better | Otis Sanford

 Those with Ford Blue Oval City are working with public school districts, universities and colleges across the Mid-South, including at Lemoyne-Owen, to better align curricula with the necessary job skills.

You can find additional information on construction jobs at Ford Blue Oval City here.

More information about permanent jobs at Ford Blue Oval City is available here

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