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Monday
Apr162012

Volkswagen’s New Chattanooga Plant Gets LEED Platinum Certification and Now Increasing Hiring

Volkswagen’s new Chattanooga, Tenn. manufacturing plant – which opened about 11 months ago – has received LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Volkswagen LEED Platinum Certified Chattanooga, Tenn. manufacturing plant. Photo courtesy of dubworld.com.

The plant is doing very well. With recent sales growth, the company is creating an additional 800 jobs at the plant. This is in addition to the 200 job openings at the plant announced by the company earlier this year. This brings the total to 1,000 new jobs needed for the plant this year so far.

The plant currently employs about 2,700 people – about 2,200 by Volkswagen and 500 by Aerotek, the company’s staffing partner.

“The plant has been working daily overtime to meet the market demand. The additions to the workforce will allow the plant to extend its weekly production capacity, while at the same time reducing the amount of overtime for current workers,” said Hans-Herbert Jagla, executive vice president of human resources at Volkswagen.

“These 800 new positions are a combination of production and support functions. We will be hiring additional supervisors, quality engineers, and professionals in a number of areas. We will also use this opportunity to hire many of our current Aerotek contract employees. So, Aerotek will be recruiting to fill full-time contract production positions that will open up,” added Jagla.

Applicants for production positions need to be at least 18 years old; have a high school diploma or GED; and be authorized to work in the U.S. Interested applicants can apply online with Aerotek.

Applicants for management and advanced positions like production supervisors, engineers, and IT specialists should apply online with Volkswagen.

The LEED Platinum certified plant opened in May 2011 and builds the 2012 Passat. The car received honors including being named Motor Trend Car of the Year and being ranked as one of the 10 Best Redesigned Cars of 2012 by Kelley Blue Book.

The manufacturing plant was built on a brownfield property with “no destruction” of untouched natural habitat, according to the company, which also said it established protections of 100 foot-wide creeks and wetlands to “minimize impact on natural habitats.”

Natural habitats protected during construction around the Volkswagen LEED Platinum Certified Chattanooga, Tenn. manufacturing plant. Photo courtesy of wardsauto.com.

Among the LEED recognized aspects of the plant, according to the company, are:

  • Power from the local hydroelectric dam.
  • Installing low-flow water fixtures and no-touch sensors throughout the plant – reducing water usage by about 30 percent.
  • Rainwater collections systems to use for flushing toilets and cooling wielding machines.
  • Using LED lighting for the exterior of the plant, resulting in about 68 percent less energy used – up to 262,500 kWh (kilowatts) per year.
  • Insulation provided by six-inch thick mineral rock wool – resulting in about 720,000 kWh per year of savings.
  • Installing a white roof membrane that’s highly reflective and minimizing the heat island effect by up to 50 °F.

Besides the manufacturing plant, the Volkswagen Academy has also been LEED Platinum certified. The main purpose of the academy is to prepare new employees to work at the Volkswagen plant.

In conjunction with The Tennessee Technology Center at Chattanooga State Community College, the academy also offers an industrial technology degree and an apprenticeship program.

Volkswagen also announced last month that it will invest $40 million to build a warehouse in Roane County, Tenn. for distributing domestic auto parts for the Chattanooga-made Passats. The 400,000 square-foot facility is expected to open by spring 2013 and will employ up to 45 people by 2016.

“The facility will begin as a redistribution center to service warehouses and will later expand to include a parts distribution center,” said Volkswagen.

“The redistribution master depot will support the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The parts distribution operation will improve service parts delivery times to over 100 dealers in the surrounding region,” added Volkswagen.

 

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