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Jobs Report: Celgard prez talks about openings

Charlotte-based Celgard, a subsidiary of Ballantyne-based Polypore International, has announced four expansions at its plants since August 2009, with the most recent expansion announced last month.

In the latest expansion, Celgard, which makes parts for lithium-ion batteries, will invest $65 million in Concord to create 100 jobs.

Celgard employs about 440 people in the Charlotte area and about 540 people worldwide.

The Mecklenburg Times asked Celgard President Mitch Pulwer about the jobs created by the expansions.

What kinds of jobs are available and what are the qualifications?

We’ll have people working in the manufacturing area to run the machines in the plants, engineers and people in other areas to support them, such as in finance, human resources and sales. The entire spectrum of jobs will be, or are being, created as a result of these expansions.

Whether or not you are going to be operating a piece of equipment in the manufacturing plant, to designing that equipment, to being out there to sell the product, there are many different qualifications depending on the job.

What’s the pay range and will they be eligible for benefits?

Yes, they are eligible for benefits … from health care to 401(k)-type of programs. While the type of jobs and wages has not been announced for most recent expansion, salaries for the previously announced jobs will vary by job function, but the overall average wage for the new jobs will be $56,960, not including benefits.

When will the new jobs be available?

We are already hiring people. We’ve been hiring people since 2009, and we are hiring people now. As part of these two (previously announced) expansions, we’ll hire over 200 people to support that part of the expansion.

Will Celgard fill the jobs with local talent or will you have to recruit from outside of the Charlotte area?

Our preference is to try to get local people. One of the reasons we chose Concord is because we felt we could fill the roles we need to from the local talent. If we need to for a specific job, it certainly is possible we will go out of the area. In general, most of our hires will be from here in the Charlotte area.

Have hiring trends at Celgard changed because of the economy?

I think we are actually the reverse. Since we started these projects in 2009, we’ve been hiring people. Obviously, we read all the time that hiring is just starting back for the general economy. But we’ve just gone about our business and executed our plan.

Where to apply: Celgard.com

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