JobsNOW: Ultium Cells holds local career fairs for new battery plant

Local News

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Voltage Valley is ready to charge, but first the Ultium Cells battery plant has to be built and the workers hired.

It’s a new process to the Mahoning Valley, and the company recognizes the importance of it as a ground floor opportunity for producing battery cells for electric vehicles.

Ultium Cells is holding two events this week to recruit potential candidates for the new battery plant in Lordstown.

The first happened Tuesday at the Eastwood Mall. Ultium Cells was showing off the battery cells it will be making in Lordstown, roughly 18-inches long and 4-inches high. There will be hundreds of the battery cells in the average vehicle.

“This is what stores the energy, and so this is what you charge,” ULtium Cells Specialist Chris Allen said as he was explaining the components.

That energy powers the vehicle. The cells go into modules, and then into battery packs, which is what you’ve most likely seen in previous drawings and videos.

Ultium Cells has research that shows people want to learn more about what they’ll be doing inside that Lordstown plant, which is roughly the size of 30 football fields.

“People are more familiar with auto manufacturing, and this is not auto manufacturing, it’s more of a chemical process,” Allen said.

Company representatives were around to answer questions, discuss career opportunities and help with the application process.

“Because this is quite a different business, a different market and a different industry. So, we really need to do a good job of educating how these jobs are unique and different then other manufacturing fields,” said Ultium CEO Tom Gallagher.

Ultium is getting the word out, going to various communities, giving an introduction to the business. But it is hiring now, on all levels of the business – 200 people by the end of the year and up to 1,100 positions being filled between March and June of next year when the work begins to build millions of battery cells.

“There’s very little manual labor in our process. So all of that manual activity is performed by process equipment or automation. So, as a production employee in our environment, you’re managing that automation,” Gallagher said.

Tuesday’s career fair at the Eastwood Mall ends at 7 p.m. Another event will be noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center on Struthers Coitsville Road in Lowellville.

Anyone interested in applying for open positions can visit Ultium Cells’ website.

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