Local Chrysler workers have a unique learning opportunity - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local Chrysler workers have a unique learning opportunity

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Chrysler is taking one of its training academies on the road and it made one of its first stops in our region. It's called the World Class Manufacturing Academy, Mobile Unit. While that's a big name, it has a simple mission. A lot of Chrysler's employees can't get to the actual training academy in Warren, Michigan so they decided to bring the classes right to the plants. Toledo Machining in Perrysburg Township is the second plant to get a visit from the big rig.

World Class Manufacturing is the system Chrysler uses at its plants to make improvements. It focuses on things like reducing waste, increasing productivity as well as improving quality and safety. Toledo Machining Plant manager Don DeKeyser says the mobile unit is helping bring that training right to the workers, "World Class Manufacturing is lean manufacturing. It is making the best product at the best cost with participation at all levels of the organization." One of the things that separates WCM from similar systems is worker involvement. Wendy Santure is the team leader on the mobile unit,"WCM is 100% driven by workers. Without the input of the workers we would not be able to implement WCM. We love bringing the training right to the plants because these are the folks nearest and dearest to the issues we have on the floor every day."

Dameon Austin left the training session this morning and made a simple change right away involving a mirror, "One of the machines on the line where I work, the parts come out the backwards, so you can't see them. We put in a mirror and now you can see them. It is simple, cost efficient and easier for the operator." They build steering columns and torque converters at the Toledo Machining plant and it wasn't too long ago that the plant faced closure but its now in growth mode. DeKeyser says they've added 200 workers in the last year alone, "Any hope of any more new jobs? I can't say right now. We've got a lot on our plate, but WCM is about delivering results and you have to earn it, WCM is our way of earning it." Danyale Brown is one of the new hires, "Toledo Machining is a great place and we're going to be better. We are going to work together to achieve our WCM goals and this is going to be the best plant ever."The mobile unit will travel to Chrysler plants in the US and Canada. So far the World Class Manufacturing Academy has trained thousands of Chrysler workers from North America.

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