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(Toledo News Now) -
A special academy on wheels rolled into the Chrysler Toledo Machining Plant to serve as a sounding board for employees to meet with facilitators and company officials, in order to help make the facility top-notch.
Workers say what they learned Monday gave them a sense of pride in their product and empowered them. They say they appreciate the opportunity to get feedback on any issues they may have. The only complaint mentioned was the academy, which only lasted a few hours, wasn't long enough.
The Mobile World Class Manufacturing Academy made its first local stop in Perrysburg Township. Inside Chrysler Toledo Machining Plant, employees got an in depth introduction on how to reduce waste and increase productivity, giving them an opportunity to ask questions and address concerns.
"The people have a voice in this environment. They have fantastic ideas, and this is an avenue for them to have that voice and drive the improvement activities to make our factory world class," said Plant Manager Don KeKyser.
Dameon Austin has been working there for 16 years and says the classes have already made a big difference.
"What my team leader knows, I know now, so it's able to work in the job a lot better now," explained Austin.
Austin says so far, one of his concerns has already been addressed by mobile unit facilitators and the problem will be fixed.
Academy officials say empowering employees is their goal.
"They're a bit more invested. They know they generated the idea and they've seen it through to implementation. They know that was their idea, so yea, it's a little empowering. I think it's a little pride is involved there," said Wendy Santure with the academy.
Austin says knowing company officials listen to and value his feedback makes all the difference in working at the plant.
"It feels real good, you know, that you're able now to feel like you're a part of the job - you're just not here working for somebody else," said Austin.