Ford will hire an additional 3,000 salaried employees this year, 800 more than previously announced.

Of the new hires, 80% will be technical professionals the auto maker says are necessary to spur product development and add new skill sets to its workforce. Eighty-five to 90% of the positions will be located in Michigan, with the remaining at Ford locations throughout the U.S.

With only a 2.7% attrition rate expected this year, the majority of the new jobs are newly created, Ford says, adding the salaried hiring initiative is the largest since 2000.

Ford is halfway toward its goal of hiring the new workers and is seeking applicants to fill the 1,500 remaining positions.

“Engineers and technical professionals are in as much demand as our (vehicles),” Felicia Fields, group vice president-human resources, says in a statement. “Global demand and increasing capacity in North America and Asia requires that we aggressively seek out technical professionals in order to continue our growth.”

To attract potential employees, Ford today launches a recruiting campaign with a larger social-media element called “The Distance Between You and an Amazing Career Has Never Been Shorter.”

The new initiative will engage job candidates on the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as the auto maker’s corporate careers website. In addition to the social-media campaign, Ford is increasing its presence on college campuses.