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Ford representatives give update on progress of Blue Oval City

Action News 5 Memphis logo Action News 5 Memphis 6/22/2022 Bria Bolden
Blue Oval City community meeting © Provided by Action News 5 Memphis Blue Oval City community meeting

HAYWOOD CO., Tenn. (WMC) - Blue Oval City is recruiting. As the business and physical landscape prepares to change in West Tennessee, leaders of the Ford megasite are making sure there are enough workers to get the project off the ground.

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Dozens of residents from Mason, Brownsville, Stanton and more filled Haywood County High School Tuesday eager to hear the latest on Ford’s multi-billion dollar investment in West Tennessee and how they plan to recruit locally for jobs.

A panel of representatives from Ford Motor Company working on the $5.6 billion electric vehicle manufacturing plant, Blue Oval City, answered submitted questions on the site’s progress.

They also shared the latest on Ford’s efforts to inform and work with surrounding communities.

“Blue Oval City is our opportunity to be a leader in the industrial revolution and we plan to make it come true.”

Stakeholders like Vice Mayor of Mason Virginia Rivers were in attendance. Mason is about 15 minutes from where the plant will be; she says Tuesday’s panel discussion was helpful in highlighting job opportunities.

“Will be a lot of our people there and Mason will be able to benefit from of these jobs, from some of the training that they have, that they’re offering,” said Rivers. “Also, I think it’s going to be wonderful because it’s so close and I think and I think that by Mason being a low-income area, this is going to be a great benefit for them.”

Rivers says town leaders are meeting with Ford Wednesday.

The plant is expected to create about 6,000 jobs.

Stanton resident Jon Isom has a contract to conduct safety oversight on the wastewater treatment line going through Blue Oval City. He’s also a local pastor and says he wants to make sure young people take advantage of the job opportunities.

“Man we’re really just trying to help our young people stay focused and understand the opportunity that’s really there,” said Isom. “A lot of times we don’t see the opportunity and tell us too late. We’re just trying to keep it in front of them right now.”

On the recruiting end, Ford says they’re working with local K-12 schools, vocational schools, community colleges and universities.

They’re looking to develop STEM and career and technical education programs in schools.

“At the end of the day, the youth are really our future,” said Andy Bianco, Ford Manufacturing Workforce Development Manager. “At the same time and knowing the skills and capabilities, that helps a whole community. Not just Ford Motor Company or BOSK. So I think are we in it for the long haul? I think we are.”

Representatives from Ford say they plan to host more community meetings like this to update surrounding communities on the plant’s progress and answer questions residents may have.

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