Jan 25 2012

Chrysler opens WCM Academy

From Allpar.com’s Bill Cawthon – Chrysler today dedicated its new World-Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy in the UAW-Chrysler Technology Training Center on Nine Mile Road in Warren, Michigan.

During a ceremony attended by Scott Garberding, Chrysler’s Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, General Holiefield, head of the UAW’s Chrysler Department, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, the ribbon was cut to officially open the new training center, which occupies about 25,000-square-feet of the training center.

The Academy’s mission is to transfer WCM skills and knowledge to more than 1,200 participants each year to create a rich culture of continuous improvement and learning. Another 1,300 people will visit the Academy for tours and meetings.

WCM is a methodology that Fiat began developing, implementing and refining in 2005 with the purpose of reducing waste, increasing productivity and restoring dignity to the employees. As a result of the collaboration with Fiat and the sharing of knowledge, WCM has become the driving force behind the improvements in all of Chrysler Group’s manufacturing plants.

“When Chrysler was developing its survival plan in partnership with Fiat in 2009, one of the key elements of turning the Company around was the implementation of World Class Manufacturing,” said Garberding. “Now, after two and a half years, our Chrysler Group manufacturing facilities are some of the most productive and efficient in the industry, and several are positioned to achieve Bronze status, a significant milestone on the WCM journey, within the next six months.

“The results that have been achieved in our plants could not have been realized without the support of our UAW partners,” said Garberding. “From the leadership to the shop floor, everyone has become an advocate of WCM and understands that it is critical to maintaining Chrysler Group’s competitiveness into the future. It’s this knowledge and expertise that we want to make available to everyone within the organization through this new academy.”

“WCM has engaged and empowered our UAW-represented workforce by challenging them to become more involved in driving change within our plants,” said Holiefield. “Our employees understand that WCM is the foundation of Chrysler Group’s continued success and the WCM Academy provides the opportunity for continued growth and development. By embracing WCM, we can secure manufacturing jobs and additional investment in our plants.”