Chrysler Group on Tuesday has officially opened its new World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy inside the United Auto Workers Chrysler Tech training center in Warren.
“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 Scott Garberding, vice president of manufacturing at Chrysler, in a statement released Tuesday morning.
You’ll find virtual reality glasses that immerse the worker in certain situations but it’s also low-tech using Lego blocks and slot cars in some demonstrations. The goal is to improve quality, cut costs companywide and to provide cutting edge technology for workers to rethink the way they do things.
“It gives you the opportunity to work with others in a close-knit environment, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Vice President of UAW Chrysler Department General Holiefield before the academy’s official ribbon-cutting.
The 25,000-square-foot academy’s mission “is to transfer WCM ‘know-how’ to more than 1,200 participants each year and cultivate an enriched culture of continuous improvement and learning.
Other high-tech gadgetry includes a 3D system that employs the same technology the military uses to train soldiers, to simulate unsafe working conditions inside a factory.
“At the end of the day, we’re hoping we transform our members — Chrysler’s employees — into the best quality manufacturing employees that the dollar can buy.”
Public officials, including Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, took part in the academy’s official ribbon cutting with Garberding and Holiefield.