Ford Recently Broke Ground on BlueOval City and Some Are Feeling Grumpy About It
Ford is spending more time and money than many other automakers to transform itself into an electric automaker. But while The Blue Oval has received more than a few high-fives for its progress, not everyone is stoked about its approach to reaching its goals.
Ford recently broke ground on BlueOval City in Tennessee, half of a planned two-site solution to producing batteries and developing new electric vehicles. The move frustrated officials in its hometown of Detroit over fears that the auto giant was moving its operations south. At the same time, people in small-town Stanton, Tennessee, are feeling a little overwhelmed with the massive hustle and bustle that comes when a significant automaker opens up shop nearby.
Ford’s moves raised eyebrows in Motor City, as the automaker has given no assurance that its new facilities will employ union labor. In Ford’s defense, however, Tennessee offered the land it desperately needed to grow a thriving and competitive EV business. Labor costs are also lower in Tennessee, which will save Ford a fortune once the site is fully staffed with thousands of employees.
While some are apprehensive, many see opportunity in the shift. Ford wants outreach to communities of color and has developed specialized training programs for rollout in the state’s high schools and tech colleges. Some schools are coaching students on the best skills they can develop to get a job with the automaker. At the same time, Ford is rolling out the red carpet in the community to find applicants and communicate with residents.
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