Ford jobs still leave thousands frustrated, looking for work - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ford jobs still leave thousands frustrated, looking for work

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Applicants who applied this summer for jobs at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant will not have to re-apply for the new positions, local UAW officials re-affirmed Wednesday.

Those applications will remain in the lottery system.

Ford announced Tuesday that it plans to add a new vehicle and a third shift at Louisville's Assembly Plant. The estimated 1000 to 1600 jobs would likely start after the two production shifts begin on the new Ford Escape, Steve Stone, UAW Building Manager at LAP said Wednesday.

The Detroit automaker said Tuesday the new vehicle line, new jobs and upgrades are part of a $600 million investment in Louisville's two plants - bringing the company's total investment in recent years to more than $1.2 billion.

Those announcement are not final and still hinge on United Auto Workers members ratifying the tentative contract agreement. That is expected in the coming days.

But frustration still exists for some of the 17,000 people who applied for 1800 positions this summer. Many of the people who applied are still looking for work.

Melanie Howerton was among them. The 20-year old mother of a one is studying social work and pyschology at Ivy Tech. She's also a full-time stay-at-home mom. Howerton says she wants to work, but is often frustrated by the lack of good paying jobs that can offset the cost of daycare.

"The money yeah... (I need) the money just to get her daycare and still be able to afford it and being making money not paying to work," she said.

Howerton - like so many in those lines - didn't hear back from Ford.

"Not one thing. Never got a call or anything," Howerton said. "I think there are a lot of people that are really happy that they got the job. But I think others are probably just frustrated with it."

Howerton says she has something an automotive company might be interested in - drive.

"It's not a chore to me. I love working. I thrive on it. I do more when I do more. ya know."

Even if Ford doesn't call, Howerton says she'll keep looking for the bright rays of sunlight in an otherwise dreary job market.

Many of the open positions went first to Ford workers on temporary layoff followed by Ford workers at other plants across the country.

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