Ford Motor Co. plans to hire 2,200 salaried workers this year in the United States as it continues to beef up payrolls to handle rising sales and production in North America.
The hiring surge is the largest increase in salaried workers in more than a decade, the company said in a statement today.
Some hiring will occur in product development, manufacturing and information technology.
In 2012, Ford added 8,100 hourly and salaried jobs as it boosted production capacity and expanded engineering, manufacturing and other areas.
Ford declined to disclose its current U.S. salaried headcount, but said it ended 2012 with 28,000 white-collar employees in North America, with most of them in the United States.
Ford's North American salaried payrolls hit a recent low of 25,000 workers in 2009.
At the end of 2006, Ford's North American salaried workforce stood at 38,600.
Ford produced about 2.7 million vehicles in North America last year, a 4 percent increase over 2011, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The automaker's 2012 U.S. sales rose 5 percent to 2.24 million vehicles.
Ford said it is more than halfway to hiring 12,000 U.S. hourly workers by 2015—a commitment made in its 2011 contract with the UAW.
To recruit employees, Ford will expand its use of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to draw "new, technology-savvy workers," the company said.
Ford also will recruit military veterans more aggressively.
Those who "like" the Ford Careers Facebook page and follow Ford Careers on Twitter will get regular updates about job opportunities, the company said.
All salaried job openings at Ford are posted on the Ford Careers Web site, careers.ford.com.
"As we expand our product lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles, we need more people in critical areas -- such as in a range of engineering activities, vehicle production, computer software and other IT functions -- to ensure we deliver the vehicles people want and value," Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said in a statement.
In late December, Ford said it would spend $773 million on equipment and capacity expansions at six plants in southeast Michigan.
Those investments will create 2,350 hourly jobs and allow Ford to keep an additional 3,240 hourly jobs, the company said.
Vince Bond Jr. writes for Automotive News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. Comment below or email email@example.com.
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