/Continental Tire, offering prospect of jobs with unspecified wages, draws hundreds to employment fair

Continental Tire, offering prospect of jobs with unspecified wages, draws hundreds to employment fair

Monday’s center was packed with hundreds of people who wished to meet with a recruiter for Continental Tire. This German company received $600m in tax incentives from the state and local governments to build its $1.45 Billion plant in Hinds County in 2016. “That’s why these jobs are brought down here, ’cause you can give them a little money… They get a deal — low labor,” stated Devon Hughes. He saw a flyer on Facebook about Continental’s “information sessions” and drove from Birmingham to attend. Hughes is an oilfield worker in Texas. Continental Tire employs 200 people in Hinds County. 2,000 of these jobs will be in production. Continental Tire has not yet provided information on the pay scale for particular positions. However, the average salary for all positions at the plant is $40,000, which is close to the $43,500 state median household income. Many job seekers attended the information session because they were hopeful of getting a job at Continental. They cited the possibility of decent pay, benefits, and consistent hours as reasons why they went to the session. Marisa Traylor said, “I’m ready to Continental.” “I have been waiting for an opportunity to grow. I just want to grow. “I can’t grow any more with the current circumstances.” Traylor worked nine years for Nissan Canton and has not received a pay raise for three years. She makes $13.50 an hour, and she supports her family of three children. “I was younger when my first job started, but I am now older and I want more for myself (as) my family grows. She said that while your family is growing, you don’t have any more income. “That’s why you get stuck in Mississippi poverty,” she explained. Traylor stated that she did a Google search on salaries at Continental. She found that the base pay for production is $18 per hour. Traylor stated, “That would be at most a $5 increase for me.” Indeed.com, which allows users to self-report their wages, lists a median wage of $12.15 to $16.35 an hour for Continental’s production and manufacturing positions — between $25,272 and $34,008 per year. Seven positions are currently open at the plant, none of which is entry-level. However, the plant will soon be hiring 50 workers by the end, and between 450 to 500 employees in 2020. Traylor took the day off work to attend the information session. She stated that she arrived at the information session before 9 a.m., and that by noon she was still waiting for a recruiter to meet her. Hughes couldn’t meet with a Continental recruiter Monday morning because he hadn’t completed the National Career Readiness Certificate test. This is a three-hour ACT-style test that Continental requires before approving an applicant. One of the 45 Mississippi Department of Employment Security resource centers, the WIN Job Center, serves those who are applying for unemployment benefits and using its computers to find a job. Employers can also use the space in the back office to host job fairs. However, only qualified applicants are allowed to use it. Monday at 4:30 pm, the center had received 750 visitors. 375 of them were “verified” and were able to meet recruiters. This meeting was a “phone screening”, and the company wasn’t interviewing nor hiring visitors. Dianne Bell, spokesperson for Mississippi Department of Employment Security, said that there were many people who don’t have certain skills. It’s a great job for those who don’t have the skills. It’s a great job. They will be able to get a job and work independently. They will be able to climb up the ranks and go higher. That’s how success stories are made,” she stated. Jamal Rule, a job seeker, said that he did not know he needed to pass the career readiness test. He took it several months ago, but didn’t receive the required score from Continental. He was among the 125 who signed up Monday at the center to take the exam again soon. Rule, a roofer said that he is looking for steady employment. Rule stated that he could be on the job for two weeks, but he might be away for two weeks. I want a job. I don’t want anything that’s only temporary. I want something that will last every day. Rule stated that his cousins who left Mississippi for work in Texas and other states were able to get jobs as soon as they arrived. Rule stated that if they discover you are from Mississippi, they will hire you regardless. “They always say, “If you had a job working in Mississippi for peanuts, what you’re getting, we know you’re going be a hard worker for us.” “Mississippi doesn’t have any jobs. You can be the most hardworking person in the world, but that’s not going show on Friday when your check arrives. “That’s why I have been wanting to escape from here for so many years.”