Ford Motor Co. did not hold a groundbreaking ceremony for its $5.6 billion BlueOval City project in Haywood County. But that’s not to say there aren’t visible signs of progress on the job site nearly 10 months after the announcement of future electric truck and battery plants at Stanton.
Walbridge — the prime contractor for BlueOval City — officials estimate there are just under 1,000 workers on site at BlueOval City currently, according to a contractor chart. That number is expected to top 2,000 by October with a peak of 5,500 workers on site next summer.
Walbridge provided an update on the project during the state’s virtual economic and community development meeting on Wednesday morning.
Chris Morgan, Walbridge’s vice president of operations, said people passing by the site in September can expect to see “steel skeletons” of the project. Walbridge currently has approximately 135 employees on site at BlueOval City to oversee construction.
“If you walked past the site four months ago, it would have been the same as it was in the past,” Morgan said. “Agricultural fields. Trees. The majority of the site has been cleaned and the dirt is moved and balanced. There’s a lot going on.”
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Ford officials, along with South Korea’s SK On, announced plans in September for the $5.6 billion BlueOval City project to produce the company’s next generation of electric trucks and battery electric vehicles. Series F on a 3,600 acre site in Stanton.
The project is expected to create approximately 5,800 jobs with production opening expected in 2025.
There were also a handful of other updates on the project this month.
Ford and SK On also finalized plans in mid-July for the joint venture EV battery plant in BlueOval City – officially called BlueOval SK. The two companies will share equal ownership of the joint venture.
Megasite Authority of West Tennessee CEO Clay Bright told the Frayser Exchange Club on July 21 that work on the waste processing plants was underway and ground would be broken on a training site of more than 100,000 square feet of Tennessee College of Applied Technology on campus later. this summer.
Ford confirmed Detroit-based Walbridge as the prime contractor for its Haywood County project in January. Walbridge, a full-service construction company, has previously handled projects ranging from millions to more than $1 billion, according to its website.
One of the questions posed during the 35-minute meeting on Wednesday was what advice Walbridge has for future graduates who will be graduating before the peak workforce period next summer.
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Morgan said the company wanted to connect potential workers with their project-related interests.
“What we do is we collect that information, we share it with ourselves, our business partners, our union friends, and we try to get it into those people,” he said. . “What interests them and come to one of our workforce development sessions. We want beginner construction people. Our industry has a shortage, not just for this job, but across the country. »
Walbridge hosts workforce development events in August and October at TCAT locations in Memphis, Covington and Jackson. Is there a link we can include with information on this?
Omer Yusuf covers the Ford Project in Haywood County, residential real estate, tourism and banking for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached by email Omer.Yusuf@commercialappeal.com or followed on Twitter @OmerAYusuf.