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Applications are now open for Detroiters who pre-qualified to vie for jobs at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's new assembly plant on the city's east side.

The automaker has contacted residents who attended job fairs and met eligibility requirements with instructions on how to apply before non-Detroit residents. Detroiters will have the opportunity to submit their applications for the next two weeks.

More than 9,000 Detroit residents are pre-qualified for the 3,850 jobs available at the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex that is being converted into an assembly plant. It will begin producing the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and a new three-row, full-size Jeep SUV by the end of 2020.

FCA pledged to give Detroiters a first chance at the assembly plant's jobs as well as at the soon-to-be upgraded Jefferson North Assembly Plant as a part of a community benefits agreement it negotiated with city residents around the plant.

Residents living in the $1.6 billion project's impact zone had the opportunity to begin applying for the jobs two weeks ago. No production workers have yet been hired, an FCA spokeswoman said.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

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