Detroit — At the 2013 North American International Auto Show, supplier Denso Corp. announced it would invest $750 million in the United States and add 1,200 jobs — including 266 jobs at its in-house plastics processing facility in Battle Creek, Mich.
But, instead, Denso ended up investing $1.2 billion and creating 4,500 jobs.
At Denso Michigan Manufacturing Inc. in Battle Creek, that increase beyond the original plans included an additional $37 million and another 125 jobs for its thermal management unit, which was announced in June.
As a result, Denso has jobs to fill. So at the 2017 auto show in Detroit, it is using its stand on the show floor for on-site job interviews for engineers, skilled trade workers and even for co-op and internship positions.
On Jan. 17, 19 and 20, during the public days at the auto show, it will have interviews both with individuals who sent applications in advance via the joindenso.com website, as well as qualified walk-in candidates at its booth nestled between Mazda and Chrysler, said Stacy Gallucci, senior manager of talent acquisition. The company is even prepared to extend job offers on the spot.
“This is where the talent will be that has an interest in automotive technology,” she said. “As we prepare for this event, we are continuing to look for skilled and innovative [employees] who can help us design, build and market our products.”
Denso, with corporate office in Kariya, Japan, and U.S. offices in Southfield, Mich., isn't the only supplier looking for employees.
Right next to its booth at NAIAS is German auto supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which expects to create as many as 800 new jobs, many of them in North America.
Both companies are suppliers into the increasing business of providing sensors and other equipment needed as the auto industry moves toward more autonomous driving. That includes enhanced cruise control, lane departure warnings and head-up displays — all of which use plastics for packaging and wiring.
Which leads back to Denso and its on-site hiring fair at the auto show.
“There are changes going on, and part of that is how we attract talent,” said Doug Patton, executive vice president and chief technology officer for Denso North America. “It's a little different than it used to be in the past. You have to be valuable to the associate. It's not just the associate looking for a job. You're trying to find them.”