By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The president of Toyota supplier Diversity-Vuteq is confident the company will meet its hiring goals for jobs that need to be filled by the end of the year.
“Currently we have about 100 workers, and we need about 550,” said Chris Spence.
Diversity-Vuteq began a three-day job fair at the Tupelo WIN Job Center on Thursday. It ends at noon Saturday.
Spence said applicants need a “special skill set” to work for the company, which has a manufacturing plant in New Albany and also will have a presence inside Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Blue Springs.
Applicants will need to be able to read and decipher production manuals and other documents used on the job.
“We’re also looking for hard-working people, willing to work in a multi-cultural environment,” Spence added. “We’re a joint venture between Diversity Mississippi, a U.S. company, and Vuteq USA, from Japan. So we’re trying to create our own culture, but that’s not for everybody.”
Diversity-Vuteq is filling production jobs, including material handlers, forklift operators, assemblers, machine operators and injection mold technicians.
Spence said wages start at about $10 an hour, with “good, competitive benefits.”
Once operational later this year, the New Albany facility will work 24 hours a day five days a week, with three shifts. Inside TMMMS, workers will follow Toyota’s schedule, which includes a 6:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. shift and another shift from 6:30 p.m. to 3:15 a.m.
The New Albany plant will make injected molded parts and glass assembly for TMMMS, while the Blue Springs operation will provide internal logistics.
Spence also said TMMMS, which will build the Corolla sedan, is scheduled to open in October. Toyota officials have said they intend to open this fall but haven’t publicly set a date for the start of production.
The Diversity-Vuteq job fair continues today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and wraps up Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.