About 500 of the 1,000 new employees Nissan is adding to its Canton, Miss., facility have been hired, but are working as contract employees, the automaker said. The new hires are temporary full-time workers with a starting wage in the $12-an-hour range, subject to increase every six months but topping out after five years, The Detroit Free Press reported Monday. \"They come in through a contract agency, but we plan to have them for the long term,\" said Bill Krueger, senior vice president in charge of manufacturing, purchasing and supply chain management for Nissan North America. In June, Nissan said it would hire 1,000 new workers for the Canton facility that builds the Altima, Titan, Armada and NV commercial van. The plant also will manufacture the 2013 Sentra the in December once a third shift is on board. \"After the first five years we will transition them into the Nissan workforce,\" Krueger told the Free Press in an interview in Traverse City, Mich., during the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars. \"We\'re expecting them to work here for a long time.\"