Subaru is ahead of schedule on hiring 1,200 new workers at its only factory in the U.S., in Lafayette.
A thousand new employees are already at work at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA), gearing up to start making new Outback and Impreza models later this year.
Indiana Sen. Dan Coats (R) visited the plant on Thursday and praised the hire:
"It's a lot more fun if you're an elected representative to go to a building where they're adding people rather than subtracting them," he said.
But finding enough of the right people hasn't been easy.
"The unemployment rate is very low in Indiana, which … makes it harder for us to find qualified applicants," says SIA human resources manager Brad Rohrer.
He says they had to do more traditional and online advertising than normal -- and recruit veterans from National Guard posts and Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Vets are the largest group among the new hires, after folks from West and Central Indiana. Rohrer says many are relocating to Tippecanoe County for the new jobs.
Subaru expects to be done filling all 1200 positions within the month.
Stay tuned for more business coverage from Indiana Public Broadcasting, including a story next week on ways Indiana manufacturers are courting veterans to fill open jobs.