Breaking News
More () »

Toyota in the Triad: Where will the workforce come from?

Labor shortages are a thing here in the Triad, NC and all over the nation. The Guilford Works Director explains how the jobs can be filled.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Toyota is expected to bring an estimated 1,700 jobs to the Triad,  which is great news. Except, all we've been hearing from businesses all over is how help is wanted and businesses can’t fill the open positions.

This fall, the unemployment rate in North Carolina was 3.6%, in the Piedmont-Triad region, it was 3.8%, with the National average at 4.3%. The NC Works website keeps a running tally. 

So, how does low unemployment and a labor shortage figure into filling these new jobs?

“It's not going to happen overnight, (the plant won’t be up and running tomorrow) so what that allows us to do while they're working through building out the new employer. It allows workforce institutions like ours and higher education and colleges to collaborate to upskill for these jobs that will be coming,” said Chris Rivera of Guilford Works.

Now the process goes like this, Toyota tells those workforce institutions what skills will be needed for those jobs and those institutions develop plans and curriculum to meet the need, and a skilled workforce is trained.

Which now may have you wondering are we just going to rob the industries of the slim labor force they have, making further problems for retail, restaurants, and other service industries?

“I think it happens organically. If this project is a four, five, six-year ramp up, you have individuals coming out of K-12 systems that will benefit going to the retail, restaurant, tourism positions,” said Rivera.

Toyota will invest $1.29 billion at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite - a 1,800-acre piece of land that sits on the county border. Officials said the jobs are expected to have an average yearly salary of $62,000. Randolph County's overall average annual wage is currently just under $38,000.  

The new plant in Randolph County will initially produce batteries for Toyota’s hybrid electric vehicles and intends to produce batteries for battery electric vehicles long term.


Before You Leave, Check This Out