Lauren Brown
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Jobs will soon be available at Volkswagen and they could be yours.  Thursday the automaker announced the company is ready to start accepting applications in some areas.

They are multi-skilled maintenance positions, which peaked the interest of some Chattanooga State students.   One man we spoke with says jobs like these are the reason he went back to school.

It's a new direction Bruce Tatum was ready to take his life, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.   After working as a computer technician for more than 20 years Tatum was ready for a change.

"I was kinda of limited on what I could do and the jobs that were available that industry is changing quite a bit and the technician positions were kind of going away," said Tatum.

After the VW announcement, he says that's one reason he went back to school.  Now he studies engineering at Chattanooga State.


"I've always been kind of a mechanical type person any way and I think the combination of my electrical background and the manufacturing and mechanical, I think I'll enjoy doing it more," said Tatum.

And Thursday he heard, it's finally time to apply for one of those Volkswagen jobs.  The automaker had his attention.

"I said when I started out to do this, that I'm gonna do enough this time, have enough education now that that I can go pretty much anywhere and get a job," said Tatum.

And Volkswagen says these new jobs are not part of the assembly line instead they are much more specific.

"Their job is very specialized and it's really to set up the production line so it's ready to build cars," said Ryan Rose, VW Human Resources General Manager.

Like applying for any job, there is a process.   And for these jobs part of the selection process will also include a hands-on assessment.

"Some of the skills we're looking for, things like electricial, mechanical, industrial, as a result we may put them for example if their experience is in industrial mechanics we may put them in front of a motor and ask them to diagnose or align the motor properly," said Rose.

"I just feel like there's gonna be a huge amount of opportunities here," said Tatum.

Volkswagen officials announced the company is ready to begin accepting applications for multi-skilled maintenance team members at its Hamilton County, TN production facility. This application process is specific to the specialized technical positions required to support equipment installation and maintenance. The application process for the production team member positions will be announced later this year.

Beginning Tuesday, September 8th at 8 am EDT, applicants interested in multi-skilled maintenance positions may apply online at the newly launched Web site Applicants may access the Web site from any computer with internet access.  If they do not have access to a computer, they can visit any Tennessee Career Center to complete the online application, including:

Tennessee Career Ctr - Chattanooga          Tennessee Career Ctr - Athens

5600 Brainerd Road, Suite A-5                       410 Congress Parkway 

Chattanooga, TN 37411                                Athens, TN 37303

Minimum qualifications for multi-skilled maintenance team members include a two-year degree or equivalent experience in at least one of the following areas: industrial electricity, industrial mechanical, electronics or facilities maintenance. Preference will be given to those candidates who have experience in multiple technical areas.

Volkswagen plans to hire approximately 150 multi-skilled maintenance team members over the next two years. About 20 maintenance positions will be filled in 2009. Starting wages will be $22 an hour, gradually increasing to $27 an hour after 36 months. Team members will also be eligible for a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental plans, life insurance and retirement savings. 

The wages for production team members will be announced in conjunction with the opening of the application process later this year.

Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will invest $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and create 2,000 direct jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs over the life of the project. The Chattanooga plant will build a new midsize sedan specially designed for the North American market. 

Lauren Brown
Eyewitness News Reporter