Local businesses gearing up for what's to come after Volkswagen EV annoucement
Businesses across the Tennessee Valley are gearing up for what is to come now that Volkswagen has announced plans to build the company's first electric vehicle in Chattanooga.
They are all anticipating the needs that will come with the new vehicle and how they can be ready to meet them.
Employees at Threaded Fasteners are busy making and delivering fasteners to companies that need them.
"We do various industrial supplies but we specialize in the fastener industry: bolts, nuts, washers, anchor bolts, and electrical utility hardware," Ivan Riden said.
Riden oversees the company's Chattanooga branch that delivers to several of Volkswagen's suppliers.
He believes the production of VW Electric Vehicles will go beyond the walls of the plant in Enterprise South.
"It'll help the construction market, sheet metal shops, anything like that. The people that make parts that go in Volkswagen cars that Volkswagen doesn't actually make themselves. It will help the overall economy just as it did when it originally came here," he said.
Riden is looking into the possibility of hiring more staff while Chattanooga State Community College is gearing up to retrofit curriculum to make sure the workforce is trained and ready.
"These changes in technology are coming rapidly. We want to stay current and relevant for Volkswagen and the rest of the industry throughout our region," Bo Drake, Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development at Chattanooga State Community College said.
One way Chattanooga State is able to do that is through the VW Academy, which combines hands-on training with classroom instruction, making the workforce more prepared for these high tech jobs.
"It's a way that businesses throughout our region including Volkswagen can invest in a program, but also invest in Chattanoogans and Tennesseans in the region to get them the skills and education they need," Drake added.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College's Whitfield Murray campus also trains the workforce for jobs like the ones at VW.
They are expected to finish construction in the spring and are looking at how they can help meet VW's staffing needs.