During the last six weeks, the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation has collaborated with the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare more than 2,200 workers to build the next generation Jeep Wrangler, which will be launching sometime later this year.
The program, which is known as the “Toledo Way,” consisted of six weeks of eight-hour days of hands-on technical training.
The sessions were led by Anand Kunnathur, professor in the department of information, operations and technology management and associate dean for special projects in the UT College of Business and Innovation.
“All 2,200 trainees were put through training in safety and environmental, quality control and people development, behavioral and focused improvement areas,” Kunnathur said.
The classes were taught by instructors from the University of Toledo and Northwest State Community College.
“It would have been impossible for us to execute this training while also preparing for an important vehicle launch without the cooperation of the UT and Northwest State Community College staff,” said Chuck Padden, Toledo Assembly Complex plant manager.
Kunnathur said there was a great deal of enthusiasm among the trainees and that this training was positioning them to be part of the workforce of tomorrow while being applicable right away at TAC.
“Each of the six four-hour sessions were sprinkled with theory, discussions, interactive activities, group (team) projects and instant rewards,” Kunnathur said.
This isn't the first time that the Toledo plant and UT have worked together for training support. They also formed a collaboration back in in 2013.
“I am very thankful for the logistics support provided by our partners, namely NWSCC, in taking care of the physical arrangements for the training and for the dedicated trainers who worked 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each training day, delivering 8 hours of training each day,” Kunnathur said.
Gary Insch, former dean of the College of Business and Innovation, said Jeep is one of America’s most iconic brands, and the College of Business and Innovation is proud to be its partner and is committed to its success.