Who works at a gigafactory?
Volkswagen confirmed the worst-kept secret in Canadian business this week with the long-awaited announcement that St. Thomas, Ont., would be the site of its first North American battery plant. The news breathed fresh excitement into a town that Ford abandoned more than a decade ago, leaving 1,200 workers at loose ends.
The German automaker provided few details about what it would spend on the plant, what incentives Ottawa and the province offered it, or the number of people it planned to employ. Speculation about the plant’s economic impact has nonetheless been frenzied, with the London Free Press estimating it could employ over 2,000 people and the Windsor Star’s sources saying the workforce could grow to 3,000 or even 5,000.
Despite the lack of details from VW and the federal and provincial governments, here are some numbers we do have: