Rivian to Employ 350-400 by Year End, Rauner has been "Enormously Helpful"

 Rivian's stampping line running in July 2017. (Credit: Christian Prenzler for AdaptBN)

Rivian's stampping line running in July 2017. (Credit: Christian Prenzler for AdaptBN)

In an interview with AdaptBN, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe gave several key updates on the company's progress. The company currently employs 250 people across the US, including 40 at the plant in Normal.

Employees at the factory cycle all of its machines at least once a week. Scaringe said cycling the machines helps keep them clean and well oiled. He highlighted that this type of work could be contracted out to companies, but Rivian would rather get the local workforce in the factory and ready for production.

By the end of this year, Rivian will employ 350-400 people across the US. That number represents a 50% increase over 2017. The company is already exceeding its factory employment targets it set with the Town of Normal. The original targets called for 35 employees by the end of 2018 and 300 by the end of 2020.

“If you go into the facility today, you would be shocked at the amount of progress in the last six months," Scaringe said.

The company will begin by producing two vehicles at the factory--a truck and SUV--starting in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Rivian describes the vehicles as the "ultimate partner(s) for adventure." The company is finalizing the design of the vehicle platform in the next 6-9 months, after which they will finalize plans with suppliers.

 The largest stamping machine at the Rivian Factory, photo taken from 4 stories above. (Photo: Christian Prenzler)

The largest stamping machine at the Rivian Factory, photo taken from 4 stories above. (Photo: Christian Prenzler)

As the company continues to prepare for full-scale production in 2020, there is quite a bit of hiring to do at the factory in Normal. Scaringe highlighted the high-quality workforce in the Bloomington-Normal area; the company has been hiring former Mitsubishi employees as well as some former Caterpillar employees.

“From what I’ve seen with Rivian, I can safely say that they are ahead of the curve...They’ve exceeded the first year’s milestones that we agreed on and they just seem be having a lot of success. We as a community, the Town of Normal, are thrilled about what they are doing," Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos said in a comment to AdaptBN.

In January 2017 Rivian received financial incentives from the State of Illinois in the form of EDGE tax credits. The package was worth roughly $49.5M over 10 years, depending on the number of people employed at the factory.  

"His office is enormously helpful," Scaringe said in reference to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

The company purchased the plant and its equipment for $16M in January 2017. Rivian is hiring in a variety of roles across all of its offices. View job postings here.

Update: Orginal Version of the Article Stated that Rivian would employ 350-400 at the Normal Plant, the company will employ 350-400 across the US by year-end.