skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, December 4, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

NH gun-safety advocates advise services, bipartisan laws after deadly shootings; Food banks, pantries address rising food insecurity during winter holidays; Despite cost debate, some MN businesses intrigued by paid-leave law.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Muslim American leaders in swing states like Michigan threaten to Abandon Biden, VP Harris criticizes greenwashing at COP28, former congresswoman Cheney calls the GOP a "threat," and George Santos is expelled.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Ford BlueOval City to boost jobs, economy in rural west TN

play audio
Play

Monday, September 25, 2023   

Most of the news about the automotive industry this month is focused on the United Auto Workers' strike against the Big Three automakers, but the story is different in rural West Tennessee.

A huge battery and vehicle manufacturing campus is being built in Stanton, with an expected economic impact of $5.6 billion. The nearly 6-square-mile Ford BlueOval City campus is expected to create 6,000 new local jobs.

Ethan Link, assistant business manager for the Southeast Laborers District Council, a division of Laborers International Union of North America, said the project is on track to open in 2025, and should be a major investment in the future of electric vehicles.

"They're building this enormous, and really, state-of-the-art Ford assembly plant to build the F-150, Lightning, as well as a battery plant right next to it, that is going to supply all the batteries they need for that," Link outlined. "We're really excited about the scale and the scope of what this project is going to mean for the new green economy."

A Tennessee College of Applied Technology school is also being planned near the site to train workers for the new jobs. He added the union workers building the plant are making more than $20 an hour and receiving health and pension benefits.

Rodney Bond, trainer from Brownsville with Laborers Southeast Training Fund, a joint fund of the union and participating contractors, is responsible for training the workers to lay asphalt for the plant.

"We did the casing for up under the building, and we poured the concrete for the 'BOS' (basic oxygen steelmaking) plant," Bond explained. "I'm glad and excited to have come here, it changed my life. I mean, it's a blessing to work with these guys."

Stacy Torrance, a laborer for Walbridge Construction Company, said in a region where there are few job opportunities, this has been a good one.

"Right now I work with a carpenter crew, so I tend to them," Torrance noted. "When I started, we were doing walls on body, then we moved to assembly. But now, we are pouring slabs, so we're doing all that; we form 'em up and they pour 'em. When I first came out there, I was new to the whole process, so I got to learn a lot. The pay and stuff is very good."

James DeWalt Sr., another laborer for Walbridge, performs maintenance at the site.

"I maintain the grounds in the building and make sure they stay safe," DeWalt emphasized. "Safety is their most important rule, so we all are safe. So, we try to make sure that everything's pretty safe and clean, so people can move around."

The union said a 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration class is also offered on job site safety, and there are first aid CPR courses and specific training for operating aerial lifts.

Disclosure: The Laborers International Union of North America contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to data by SCORE, 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Small Business Saturday has come and gone and the North Carolina Sustainable Business Council urged people to keep "shopping local" this season…


Social Issues

play sound

Gun-safety advocates in New Hampshire are urging Gov. Chris Sununu to back policies proven to reduce gun violence following a series of deadly …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found the repayment process for federal student loans has been filled with errors…


The Environmental Protection Agency is working on rules that will incentivize the transition to heavy-duty electric vehicles. (VanderWolf Images/Adobestock)

play sound

As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai wraps up, Democratic lawmakers and clean-air advocates are calling on the Environmental …

Environment

play sound

NASA-funded research using satellites to study atmospheric nitrogen will examine how different farming approaches affect greenhouse gas emissions…

More than a third of Washington homes have gas-burning appliances such as stoves. (Syda Productions/Adobe Stock)

play sound

The American Gas Association misled the public on the health effects of burning gas for decades. Now, a coalition wants the Washington State …

Environment

play sound

A handful of Iowa's biggest cities has been awarded $3 million to work on solutions to climate change at the local level. The climate pollution …

Environment

play sound

Xcel Energy says its latest proposal before the Public Utilities Commission will help Colorado reach it's clean energy goals - by adding more wind and…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021