Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

July 21, 2010

Chrysler openings net 3,000 applications

The jobs are connected to the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

By DANIEL HUMAN
Tribune staff writer

Kokomo — A few hundred jobs that opened at Chrysler Group LLC’s transmission plant in Kokomo had 10 times as many applicants, according to United Auto Workers.

Kokomo’s largest employer has been screening candidates for 300 new positions at Chrysler’s Indiana Transmission Plant 2. The open positions received a response of about 3,000 applications, UAW Local 685 President Rich Boruff said Tuesday.

The company is seeking 32 skilled and 268 unskilled workers for the

positions, he said.

“It’s a good thing,” he said about the jobs, “but sad that that many people are out of work.”

The jobs came connected to the introduction of Chrysler’s 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Michigan-based company added a second shift at its plant in Detroit. That led to the addition of a second shift at the Kokomo plant, Boruff said.

Jodi Tinson, a spokeswoman for Chrysler, said “it’s certainly not uncommon” for job openings with the company to receive the same kind of response that the openings in Kokomo had.

The company formally posts its job openings on www.chyslercareers.com. There were no listing in Kokomo as of Tuesday afternoon.

The job growth has been part of an ongoing effort by Chrysler to rebound from its bankruptcy.

The company earlier this year announced a $43 million expansion in Kokomo, which resulted in 379 call backs of laid-off employees and 20 new supervisor positions.

The company announced in June that it was investing $300 million at its Kokomo plants to begin producing a new, more fuel-efficient, eight-speed transmission. The company says the investment will help retain 1,200 jobs.

• Daniel Human is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8570 or at daniel.human@kokomotribune.com.