Working together to counter local structural weaknesses and unemployment
At the end of 1997, Wolfsburg’s prospects as an attractive business location were bleak.
A structural analysis identified deficits in the labour market and the economic structure:
- Employment rate in service professions with 22 percent, far below the national average (50 percent)
- Medium-sized businesses, the driving force behind employment in Germany, barely represented in Wolfsburg
- Number of medium-sized automotive suppliers approx. 75 percent lower than in comparable automotive industry locations
- Company start-ups approx. 30 percent lower than the national average
- An annual 100-200 million Euro drain on purchasing power into the surrounding region
A public-private partnership for the future
The city of Wolfsburg and Volkswagen worked together to take action to provide both the Wolfsburg location and its people with prospects for the future. This determination led to the formation of Wolfsburg AG, a public-private partnership that has been dedicated to creating more jobs and a better quality of life in Wolfsburg and the surrounding region ever since it was founded in 1999.
Since that time, Wolfsburg AG has continuously focused its corporate activities on the changing requirements of Wolfsburg as a business location. From meeting the challenge of high unemployment at the end of the 1990s, through enhancing the attractiveness of the location with new impetus for leisure, education, health, energy and mobility, right down to overall structural development and economic development.
There are always new challenges, yet the level of commitment remains the same
Today there is a focus on addressing the lack of qualified labour and firmly establishing digitalisation in all areas of living and the workplace. To this end, the company is working on fundamental programmes, proprietary projects, functioning as a platform upon which the city, Volkswagen and other stakeholders can bundle key activities involving the specified topic areas.