Community - Nov 12, 2019
East Tennessee foundry hiring those recently furloughed, laid-off by other companiesMichelle Heron | wrcbtv.com
East Tennessee foundry hiring those recently furloughed, laid-of - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports
An East Tennessee foundry wants to put those furloughed and laid off recently back to work.
Last week, nearly five dozen Norfolk Southern employees were furloughed as part of a realignment within the company. Waupaca Foundry, Plant 6 sits on 95 acres off of Highway 411 in Etowah.
The foundry is one of the biggest employers in McMinn County, employing more than 600 people and company leaders expect that number to grow.
"We pour ductile iron for the automotive industry primarily," Waupaca Foundry Plant 6 Manager Kenley Hansen said.
Workers melt 80 tons of scrap metal every hour and turn it into products used in the automotive, construction and agriculture industries.
Safety is a big component inside the plant but so is the chemistry that goes into make reliable products, that last.
"We pour our iron in the 2600-degree Fahrenheit range," Hansen added.
Hansen said they are expecting a 30-percent increase in sales by next year.
To help meet that demand, they've added more shifts and workdays to the week. Now, they need more people.
"We are hiring for skilled trades, maintenance, mechanical and electrical. We're also hiring general production foundry jobs," he added.
Last week, Norfolk Southern announced 58 workers at the Chattanooga Mechanical Department were being furloughed.
After our story aired, several former employees contacted Channel 3 saying they were looking for work after being laid off earlier in the year.
Hansen wants those people to know, Waupaca Foundry is hiring.
"The people at Norfolk Southern have some of the skills that we value and that we need. And so being a good community member, if we can provide jobs to folks in need, especially in the holiday season, that's good for everyone," he said.
Wages range between $15-$24 per hour. Benefits, tuition assistance and relocation bonuses are offered.