Toyota’s 37 salaried jobs attract some 5,000 applicants

BLUE SPRINGS – About 5,000 people have applied for salaried jobs at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.
And that was for only 37 listed openings.
The positions, which were posted on toyota.com through Saturday, require a bachelor’s degree or “equivalent experience.”
“There were actually 53 jobs available,” said David Copenhaver, Toyota Mississippi’s vice president of administration. “For example, if there was a position for production group leader, we might have needed three of them.”
The salaried jobs were deemed “critical” and needed to be filled as quickly as possible, Copenhaver said.
How soon?
“Yesterday,” Copenhaver said with a laugh.
“But these are not all the salaried jobs we have, just the most critical,” he added. “In discussing what we needed, these are the ones that were determined needed to be filled first.”
The other salaried jobs will be posted in a few weeks, Copenhaver said.
Copenhaver said Toyota and state officials are still working on rolling out the application process for the hourly positions, most of which will be for production jobs.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security will use the WIN Job Centers to handle the application process.
Copenhaver said an announcement with details on how people can apply for the hourly positions will be made “soon.”
Officials have said they expect more than 100,000 people to apply for the jobs at Toyota Mississippi, which is scheduled to open in fall 2011.
The Japanese automaker expects to have about 2,000 workers when the plant is in full operation by spring 2012.
Suppliers for the plant are expected to hire an additional 2,000 workers.
As for the 5,000 who applied for the salaried spots, Copenhaver said Toyota will handle the initial screening process.
A group within the human resources department will identify those applicants that meet the qualifications for the positions, then conduct phone interviews for further screening. From there, Toyota Mississippi officials will take over.
“We’ll do the interviewing and hiring locally,” Copenhaver said.

Contact Dennis Seid at (662) 678-1578 or dennis.seid@djournal.com.

Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal