For the next five weeks, guest columnist Nicole Sherard-Freeman, Executive Director of Detroit at Work and Workforce Development for the City, will share the inside track on how to get ready and stay ready for jobs and careers in Detroit. This week, she shares what Detroiters should know about the jobs that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is bringing to the City.
Five Things to Know About FCA Jobs
If you pay attention to TV news, online ads or outdoor billboards, you’ve probably seen signs for Detroit at Work, the City’s online and neighborhood Career Center network formerly known as the One Stop MichiganWorks! Agency. While we’re still glad to be the MichiganWorks! Agency for the City, we want you to get to know the Detroit at Work Career Center in your neighborhood. Together with nine community-based partners across the City, we’ve completely overhauled the look and feel of what happens at a Detroit at Work Career Center.
Last year, the big news on jobs in Detroit was FCA. For the first time anywhere across the country, FCA is putting Detroiters first in its hiring for nearly 5,000 new jobs. FCA created a partnership with the City of Detroit to ensure residents — beginning with those who live in 48213, 48214, and 48215, including veterans and returning citizens—are first in line for the jobs. FCA is opening an application window for Detroit residents in April.
This is all great news, and here’s five things that you, your family, friends, neighbors and community should know about FCA jobs!
- FCA jobs are the kinds of job opportunities Detroiters have been asking for. Many in our community have long talked about the need for our young people and adults to have access to jobs, and everyone wants a job that pays well. It’s also true that many in our community need an opportunity to develop skills and gain experience to be marketable now and into the future. Of course you have to bring your A-game to get an FCA job. Once you’re in, the job will be a chance to develop skills and get valuable experience.
- An FCA job today will help you prepare for a career. The starting salary for a Production Operator (automotive line worker) is $17 per hour—and you don’t need prior experience to get the job. If you’ve looked at local market data, you know that $17 an hour is an outstanding starting salary for an entry level job. You do have to bring a positive attitude, good work ethic, and a willingness to learn. If you have all three, you’ll do well, and can take advantage of FCA’s internal training and advancement programs.
- FCA Production Operator jobs are a good way to get in when you want to move up. While the majority of jobs available now are Production Operators, the first place FCA looks when they’re ready to hire apprentices is to its current workforce. Many of FCA’s skilled trades apprentices come from their Production Operator employee base. Once you get in, you’ll have a chance to learn more and move up.
- FCA is also hiring for Skilled Trades workers and professional employees. For those who already have experience in production supervision or quality control, and for all electricians, pipefitters, millwrights, machine repair, and other skilled trades, FCA has openings now! Even if you don’t have a journeyman’s card, eight years of professional documented experience can sometimes be enough to get the job. Check Detroit at Work.com for all opportunities, including professional disciplines including HR and Communications.
- FCA jobs are not easy. While Production Operator jobs don’t require a special skill set, they do require the willingness to work hard. Standing and walking for a minimum of three hours, lifting up to 30 lbs. repetitively, staying focused on safety first, and paying close attention to detail are all ‘skills’ you have to bring to work every day.
One of the reasons FCA chose Detroit is because of our long history of doing hard work under tough conditions. Detroiters built this City, including the autos. We have a reputation for hustling harder and having the grit to make almost anything work. Making the most of the opportunities with FCA will be no exception. Encourage your friends and family to decide whether a career in manufacturing could be the right move, then log on to Detroit At Work.com or come into your neighborhood Detroit at Work Career Center to Get on the List!
Come back next week for the next installment in this Detroit at Work series: How to Get on the Detroit at Work FCA List.