Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will hire 3,000 salaried employees this year, 800 more than previously announced, including a majority of engineers and information technology workers, the automaker said on Tuesday.
Ford said about nine in 10 new jobs will be located in Michigan and approximately 80 percent of the new employees will be engineers and information technology specialists.
The new jobs, which are required to meet the demands of an increasingly sophisticated and resurgent auto industry, constitute a third of the 13,000 employees Ford laid off between 2006 and 2009.
Ford said software is becoming more important in automotive development and that the new hiring will reflect the company’s diversifying interest.
“Engineers and technical professionals are in as much demand as our cars, trucks and SUVs,” Felicia Fields, Ford group vice president for human resources, said in a statement. “Global demand and increasing capacity in North America and Asia requires that we aggressively seek out technical professionals in order to continue our growth.”
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Fields said about two-thirds of the positions have been newly created while the rest are being filled after layoffs, adding that Ford is halfway to its goal of hiring the 3,000 salaried employees this year.
Ford will launch a social media initiative to support the recruiting drive and will engage job candidates on the three major social sites the company uses for recruiting -- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn -- as well as its corporate careers website.
The recruiting campaign by Ford, which has set a goal to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the U.S. by 2015, was announced days after Detroit, home to the country's Big Three automakers, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to do so.
Hiring of IT workers by Ford comes at a time when the automaker is attracting complaints from customers over its MyFord Touch infotainment system -- a communications and entertainment system developed jointly by Ford and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) -- and was the subject of a lawsuit filed earlier this month.
California’s Center for Defensive Driving sued the automaker alleging that the MyFord Touch system in its 2013 Ford F-150 truck was plagued by a host of problems such as going into lockdown and being unresponsive to devices and voice commands.