Ford is further investing in the well-being of the Blue Oval City. Tesla should probably pay attention | Rare Techy


Electric vehicle production is a large-scale undertaking that requires significant industrial effort. To meet demand, Tesla has built gigafactories in several countries. Other companies that want to be future players are also expanding their global supply and production networks. However, we haven’t seen anyone build an entire city in production, at least not until Ford announced the Blue Oval City in September.

Just a year after agreeing to it, Ford and SK On have invested $5.6 billion to build an electric truck and batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles in West Tennessee. Approximately 6,000 new jobs will be created by 2025, when the 6-square-mile megacampus begins production.

“Ford’s historic investment in West Tennessee is a testament to our state’s strong business climate and unmatched workforce,” said then-Governor Bill Lee. “BlueOval City will have a transformative impact on Tennesseans and our economy, and we are proud to have this global company call Haywood County home.”

At the time, the company said it wanted to do more than get a plant and a city to support its operations in West Tennessee. Ford continues to be involved in various communities in West Tennessee, hosting live discussions and participating in collaborative projects. Most notably, the company has partnered with the University of Tennessee to restore the streams that flow through the school’s Lone Oaks Farm and expand STEM education opportunities for students in kindergarten through 12th grade across the state.

Now they’re taking things to the next level when it comes to making sure people, not just the factory, have a good time in the area. In a recent press release, Ford announced some new programs to support area nonprofits.

The Ford Motor Company Fund is improving local communities in West Tennessee with a new $1 million capital grant program. The company’s philanthropic arm helps strengthen and improve infrastructure, an especially important endeavor now that Ford’s new electric vehicle manufacturing campus, BlueOval City, is underway.

The following Tennessee counties have access to $1 million in tax-exempt capital grants to fund construction projects such as building renovations and land preservation: Haywood, Fayette, Tipton, Lauderdale, Shelby and Madison. These funds usually go to non-profit organizations or municipalities.

“Community always comes first for Ford, and we’re staying true to our heritage of giving back by investing in new Tennessee neighbors,” said Mike Schmidt, director of programs for the Ford Motor Company Fund. “Our goal is to ensure that the communities we build in benefit from the investments we make and the jobs Ford and SK On create.”

The grants, which range from $25,000 to $100,000, are intended to fund physical infrastructure projects in the area, such as building playgrounds and renovating existing community spaces. The Ford Foundation’s capital grants program builds on the company’s existing philanthropic support in West Tennessee, including the Lorraine Civil Rights Museum and the National Urban League in Memphis.

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 3, 2023, and applicants will be notified of the results by early April. To apply for a capital grant, organizations should visit the Ford Foundation website. United Way of West Tennessee may act as a financial sponsor for combinations and groups that are not tax-exempt. Those without 501c3 expense status should email through the United Way site and include “Ford Fund Capital Grant” in the subject line.

The well-being of employees is the well-being of the company

I know some “hard core” types who think we should all grind ourselves to the bone and destroy ourselves for our bosses think this is all “woke” bullshit, but that couldn’t be further from the case. Keeping the community around a large factory stable and taking care of your employees and their families can be very profitable.

The fact is, you don’t just want a lot of work from your employees. Anyone can sit at a table and play Solitaire or watch cat videos 80 hours a week. It doesn’t mean they actually do anything that makes the company more money or impresses customers. Even if you don’t work 80 hours a week, working 80 hours at half the pace isn’t any better than working a solid 40 hours.

How is an employee who doesn’t sleep well supposed to do a decent job? What about an employee worried about their child who got into drugs and ran away? Will they be their best? There are so many things that can simply gut productivity in the factory behind these walls.

The first bridge over the Mississippi River, image by Ganesha811 (CC-BY-SA 4.0).

Pictured above is the first bridge to span the Mississippi River, just yards from its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota. According to Wikipedia, it is the only log bridge that spans a river. I imagine the cost of building this bridge was extremely low. It didn’t take much to get over it when I fished the river early.

I-20 bridge from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Photo by Jennifer Sensiba.

But you won’t cross that river in Mississippi or Louisiana nearly as cheaply. You’re talking about a multi-million dollar project just to get a water pipe or some power lines over it. Pedestrian bridges cost more. Interstate highway and railroad bridges are even more expensive.

I don’t know about you, but if I had to solve a big problem, I’d rather solve it early upstream than if it’s small. I’d rather invest relative pocket money in prevention than have to pay for the cure that comes after things rot and decay.

For example, you can bet Tesla wishes it could have spent a few thousand dollars on training employees not to engage in racism and discrimination after it ended up paying out $15 million (and Tesla was lucky the judge cut it from the original $137 million from the dollar). I have read that the factory workers are pushed very hard at Tesla, especially among the managers and even more so among those who report directly to Elon Musk.

It seems highly unlikely that exhausted, overworked factory workers and drivers who can’t hang on won’t pay Tesla anything. It may cost the company something to make things better, but it’s likely to be much cheaper than letting these problems stand.

Featured image courtesy of Ford.




Do you appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and coverage of cleantech news? Please consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician or Ambassador or Patreon Patron.


Don’t want to miss a clean technology story? Sign up for daily CleanTechnica news by email. Or follow us on Google News!

Got tips for CleanTechnica, want to promote or recommend a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button