Toyota adopts direct employment at Kentucky plant, 1,400 contingents becoming perm

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November 02, 2021

Toyota Motor Corp.’s manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Kentucky, is changing its employment structure to a direct-employment plan as part of a $461 million investment in the plant, the company announced last week. Approximately 1,400 contingent workers at the plant currently employed through Kelly (NASDAQ: KELYA) will be offered direct positions with Toyota as a result. All new hires will also be directly employed.

The company noted other Toyota facilities in the US have implemented direct-employment policies. Toyota said the change was a way to improve recruiting efforts, retain top talent and provide a more inclusive work environment.

In addition, the investment will go to facility enhancements and operations upgrades as well as expansion of powertrain capabilities at the plant. The facility will add a 2.4-liter turbo engine to its line.

“As Toyota’s most experienced assembly plant in the US with a workforce of about 9,000, [Toyota Kentucky] must transform physically and strategically to meet the changing needs of customers,” said Susan Elkington, president of Toyota Kentucky.

The plant manufactures the Camry, Camry Hybrid and Rav4 Hybrid. Production of the Lexus ES and Lexus ES Hybrid will shift from the facility with production going back to Japan in order to create space for future products and to better align with US market demand.

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