HANFORD — Electric car company Faraday Future announced recently the appointment of John Lehn as director of government relations in Hanford.
Lehn comes to Faraday Future after working in government in Kings County, where he led the Job Training Office for the past 38 years and was president and CEO of the Kings County Economic Development Corporation for the past 21 years.
At the Kings County Job Training Office, Lehn coordinated and oversaw workforce preparation activities and coordinated federally funded efforts to prepare the local and regional workforce for high-demand occupations.
As president and CEO of Kings EDC, he helped attract and retain businesses for the city of Hanford and Kings County. Lehn also served as a spokesperson for Kings County’s economic and infrastructure initiatives with local media.
For the past several years while at Kings EDC, Lehn worked with Faraday while they contemplated, and eventually decided, to locate a facility in Hanford.
During Lehn’s recent transition into retirement, he said Faraday officials decided they needed someone with government experience to work in the realm of state, local and community relations. He said he was approached by Faraday about the job and became interested in the position.
“Career-wise it was a natural evolution,” Lehn said, adding he was interested in the company’s success and thought he could help just as much from the inside as he did from the outside.
In his position, Lehn — who reports to Chaoying Deng, vice president of administration — oversees aspects pertaining to navigating local and state government regulations and working with officials as Faraday Future ramps up production at its Hanford manufacturing facility.
The company’s luxury electronic vehicle, the FF 91, is slated to go on sale next year.
“I appreciate the vision [Faraday Future] founder and Global CEO YT Jia has developed in creating this advanced mobility company,” Lehn said. “The people [the company] has attracted to grab hold of that vision and bring the Faraday Future FF 91 to market is truly world-class.”
As California State University, Fresno, graduate with a bachelor’s degree in social work and former Hanford mayor, Faraday officials said Lehn’s role is crucial as the company expands its footprint in the Central Valley and continues to train its rapidly growing workforce.
"His past experience as an elected official in Hanford will assist [Faraday Future] to navigate the regulatory path to production," said a press release from the company.
Lehn said he’s pleased to be able to contribute not only his understanding and knowledge of local regulatory processes with those at Faraday, but also help with workforce development, transparency and garnering community interest in the company in order to ensure its success.
Previously, Lehn also helped Faraday implement the educational partnership the company enjoys with College of the Sequoias, which has been used to train some of the employees working in the Hanford manufacturing facility.
With more employees being brought on every week, the company’s goal is to have approximately 1,300 workers in its Hanford plant by mid-2019 to build the FF 91.