When the North plant at the FCA US Toledo Assembly Complex was idled last year to prepare for the production of the all-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler, workers at the facility were not.
During that downtime, more than 2,200 workers from the Toledo North plant took part in a comprehensive training and launch readiness program known as the “Toledo Way.”
The week-long program included three, eight-hour days of hands-on technical training at The University of Toledo’s (UT) Scott Park Campus. The hands-on activities were developed with UT, and focused on expanding the employees’ knowledge of, and competence in, World Class Manufacturing.
These classes were tailored to meet the specific needs of workers in various departments and taught by instructors from UT and Northwest State Community College.
“If they were sitting at a table together, they would be building cars together side-by-side at the plant. This program created the intense cohesion needed to build the Wrangler,” said Jeff Rains, people development lead at the Toledo Assembly Complex, who oversaw the classroom portion of the Company’s back-to-work training program.
Production, salaried and skilled trades employees cycled through the training in shifts of 180 people, six days a week. The course curriculum included classes on quality, safety, problem-solving and the way in which parts are delivered to an operator on the line (known as workplace organization).
“We had positive feedback from everybody in the facility,” said Brian Sims, a committeeman with the Jeep unit of UAW Local 12. “The energy in the plant was just amazing. We couldn’t wait to start building this beautiful vehicle.”
In addition to the UT training, the week-long “Toledo Way” program included a day of community service and a day devoted to learning about the Jeep brand, with time behind the wheel of a Wrangler to experience its off-road capability.
Learn more about the all-new Wrangler produced by the men and women of the Toledo North plant on the Jeep website.