Application process for Toyota 'going very well'

TUPELO – On Tuesday, about 200 people went to the WIN Job Center and filled out online applications in hopes of getting a job at Toyota.
They were among the more than 10,000 who, in two weeks, have applied for the 1,350 production and skilled maintenance jobs at the Japanese automaker’s Blue Springs plant.
It’s a far cry from the 100,000 or more that some had thought would apply for the jobs. After all, more than 5,000 applied for only 37 salaried positions advertised last month.
But the hiring process is still in its early stages – it began Aug. 23 – and applications will continue to pour in. And Toyota hasn’t said when it will halt the process, although the plant is expected to open in the fall of 2011.
“There is no definitive time frame,” said David Copenhaver, vice president of administration for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi, the official name of the plant. “It will be open until we feel we have enough applications, and at this time we don’t have a clear sense of what that number needs to be.”
Toyota is hiring 1,350 production and skilled maintenance workers, many of whom will begin work early next year. By early 2012, Toyota Mississippi should be in full production, with about 2,000 workers.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security is accepting the applications on its website and through its WIN Job Centers statewide. All applications for Toyota are completed online, so interested workers can log on from anywhere.
“Things are going very well,” said MDES spokeswoman LaRae Brown. “We’re pleased with the process and with the number of applicants.”
Three years ago when Toyota first announced it was building in Blue Springs, officials expected 60,000-70,000 applications.
When Nissan took applications for its plant in Canton seven years ago, the automaker attracted 75,000 applicants. That plant now employs about 4,000 workers.
Comparing the application process between the two Japanese automakers might not be fair, however. Nissan took applications the old-fashioned way, via paper forms.
Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal