MARYVILLE, Mo. — Kawasaki announced this week that its Maryville facility has begun employing U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico during peak production months through a new partnership.
The partnership with Allegiant Staffing brings in 20 new employees from Puerto Rico to Maryville, and may provide an opportunity for full-time employment with Kawasaki after the eight-month assignment is over.
“The City of Maryville welcomes and applauds the recent partnership between Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corporation, USA and Allegiant Staffing,” said Maryville Mayor Rachael Martin in a statement. “The agreement allows Kawasaki to strategically align their workforce while providing opportunities for U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico, many still dealing with the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria. The efforts will strengthen local industry while growing our diverse and dynamic community.”
Josh McKim, executive director of Nodaway County Economic Development, said his organization is “excited to welcome this boost to our local labor force.”
“Nodaway County’s workforce cannot meet the seasonal employment needs of Kawasaki; this unique solution allows for continued production growth in Nodaway County,” McKim said.
The new Allegiant employees began working at the factory on Sept. 30, the company said in a press release, and are a first step in attempting to reduce some of the extensive overtime Kawasaki employees have worked.
“With on-going robust sales for our product, Kawasaki remains in a position of being a global leader in small engine production, and must maintain a solid workforce for the production efforts,” said Tim Melvin, human resources manager at the plant. “It is the goal of Kawasaki to allow our employees quality family time away from work, and that means reducing overtime, when feasible.”
Melvin added that the Allegiant employees are working second and third shift machining areas, which he said “can be a little more challenging to staff.”