Lights! Glamour! Assembly lines? Chrysler Group's WCM Academy Hosts First-Ever Awards Ceremony

Dec 13, 2013, 13:34 ET from Chrysler Group LLC

WARREN, Mich., Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Chrysler Group, together with the UAW, host inaugural event honoring high achievers from its WCM Academy
  • 27 winners in 14 award categories recognized as leaders in Manufacturing
  • Winners nominated from 26 facilities in the U.S. and Canada

In true Hollywood style, Chrysler Group and the UAW rolled out the red carpet for the Company's high achievers in manufacturing at the first-ever World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Academy Awards ceremony held at the UAW-Chrysler Technology Training Center in Warren, Mich., on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Chrysler Group's Vice President of Manufacturing Mauro Pino and the UAW's Vice President of the Chrysler Department General Holiefield hosted the event for more than 500 attendees, including award nominees from 26 facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

Complete with the glitz, glamour and paparazzi of the movie industry's most famous awards show, the WCM Academy Awards event was designed to honor the best performances in manufacturing at the plant and individual levels. Winners were recognized for successes achieved as a result of the training received at the WCM Academy, which launched in January 2012. Using the core values of the Academy - Excellence, Talent, Togetherness, Energy, Etc. – a special award was created called the ETTEE and was presented to 27 winners in 14 award categories.

"Our people are the life blood of this Company, so we were thrilled to host the first WCM Academy Awards to recognize their hard work and achievements," said Pino. "Working to make improvements in our manufacturing processes is not only rewarding for each employee personally, but also for Chrysler Group as a whole."

First implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, WCM is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants. WCM has become the driving force behind the improvements in all of Chrysler Group's manufacturing plants with four facilities achieving Bronze status, a significant milestone in the WCM process, in 2012.

"The UAW-represented workforce has enthusiastically embraced WCM, a critical part of Chrysler Group's recovery and the cultural transformation that has occurred within our facilities," said Holiefield.  "Through the Academy, we continue to advance WCM knowledge, and I am pleased to honor those whose dedication and commitment have contributed to the success of the Company."

And the ETTEE Goes to...
The ETTEE, a unique, hand-blown blue glass statue representing the values of the Academy, was awarded to the following 27 winners:

Talent (Participants Tracking Projects After WCMA Training)

  • Highest Level of Project Savings by Plant – Assembly/Stamping: Sterling Heights Assembly (Sterling Heights, Mich.); Powertrain: Indiana Transmission I (Kokomo, Ind.)
  • Highest Level of Project Savings – Perimeter by Individual – Rod Engel, Indiana Transmission I (Kokomo, Ind.)
  • Highest Level of Project Savings – Out of Perimeter by Individual – Duane Mills, Toledo Assembly (Toledo, Ohio)
  • Highest Level of Annual Savings – Salary – Hrishikesh Rughooputh, Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Mich.)
  • Highest Level of Annual Savings – UAW – Daniel Chiodini, Belvidere Assembly (Belvidere, Ill.

Excellence (Academy Course / Trainer / Facilitator Effectiveness)

  • WCMA Trainer of the Year – Jim Sarkis and Greg Marquardt
  • WCMA Facilitator of the Year – Melissa Liskey and Leah Roveroni
  • Most Projects Tracked by an Individual – Jason Steel, Warren Stamping (Warren, Mich.

Togetherness (Using the WCM Values)

  • HHH Best-in-Class – Windsor Assembly (Windsor, Ontario); Trenton Engine Complex (Trenton, Mich.); Advanced Stamping Manufacturing Engineering (Auburn Hills, Mich.)
  • Highest Percentage of People Involved – 1-1,000 Employees: Mack Engine (Detroit); 1,000-2,500 Employees: Warren Stamping (Warren, Mich.); 2,500+ Employees: Jefferson North Assembly (Detroit)
  • Excellence in Joint Leadership - by Organization: Joyce Wilson and Steve Saunders, Mopar Headquarters (Centerline, Mich); Powertrain – Kevin Sell and Gabe Solano, Trenton Engine (Trenton, Mich.); Assembly – Zach Leroux and Mark Epley, Toledo Assembly (Toledo, Ohio

Energy (Interaction with the WCMA)

  • Highest Percentage of Projects Tracked by Plant – Warren Truck Assembly (Warren, Mich.)
  • Most Hosted Plant – Powertrain: Indiana Transmission I (Kokomo, Ind.); Assembly/Stamping: Warren Truck Assembly (Warren, Mich.)
  • Most Training Hours Completed – Pam Burkett, Indiana Transmission II (Kokomo, Ind.

The WCM Academy opened its doors nearly two years ago and, with a recent expansion, now occupies about 40,000-square-feet. The Academy was created to accelerate WCM implementation by combining classroom and laboratory sessions, with the emphasis on hands-on exercises in problem solving. With a mission to transfer WCM "know-how," the Academy has trained more than 7,500 total participants since its launch. Those participating in Academy classes apply their learnings and begin making improvements as soon as they return to their plants, delivering real and measurable benefits for the Company.

In May 2013, the WCM Academy received top honors in the 2013 Manufacturing Leadership 100 (ML100) Awards, being named a High Achiever in the New Workforce category. The High Achiever award recognized the Company for receiving the highest score in the category, which identifies companies that involve education and training, knowledge management and transfer, and collaboration with educational institutions as integral to the advancement of manufacturing.




SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC