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Spotlight on Indiana III: An Award-winning Workforce

Understanding the importance of giving back

September 11, 2015

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World Class Manufacturing 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.

FCA US employs more than 8,000 people in the five plants (Indiana Transmission Plant I and II; Kokomo Casting Plant; Kokomo Transmission Plant and Tipton Transmission Plant) located in north central Indiana. While working to hit the aggressive targets of producing 1 million eight-speed transmissions and 1 million nine-speed transmissions, the workforce attained other notable milestones.

  • The Indiana Transmission Plant II became the Company’s first transmission plant and the sixth North American facility to achieve a World Class Manufacturing (WCM) bronze award in October 2014.
  • Two months later, the Kokomo Transmission Plant became the second transmission facility to reach the same status. A bronze award is given after earning a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars by establishing clear WCM know-how and competence.
  • In March 2015, nearly 2,700 employees at Indiana Transmission Plant I achieved something few in the manufacturing industry can claim – 10,000,000 hours, or a span of more than three years, without a lost time injury. A lost-time injury is described as a nonfatal traumatic injury that causes loss of time from work beyond the day or shift it occurred.
  • In June 2015, Tipton Transmission Plant earned the highest score recorded by an American FCA US facility in its first audit, achieving 30 points.

“Through the years, our management and UAW leaders along with our employees have been committed to maintaining and improving safety,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. “Now, with the WCM tools and tireless dedication, we are keeping our employees safer than ever before.”

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Bob Varsanik, General Manager – Transmission & Component Operations – FCA US LLC, presents Sherry Rahl, Executive Director – Project Access, with a grant from the FCA Foundation, which will support the organization’s efforts to provide free health care services for uninsured and underinsured residents of Howard County, Indiana.

Giving back
In addition, the Company continues to invest in programs that generate meaningful and measurable impacts to help drive a brighter future in the communities where our employees work and live.

Recently the FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US, awarded grants, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000, and totaling more than $62,000 to 17 Kokomo and Tipton-area (Ind.) community organizations and programs that serve youth development and education, senior citizens, veterans and multicultural activities.

“As a company, we are committed to making service to others part of our daily mission,” Jody Trapasso, Senior Vice President—External Affairs and President of the FCA Foundation, said. “Over the years, we’ve invested more than half a billion dollars in charitable organizations to help build strong communities, while our volunteer activities have impacted millions of lives. The result is stronger, more stable communities, both in our backyard and around the world.”

In addition, employees from the five local manufacturing facilities in Indiana pledged more than $800,000 to the United Way of Howard County, helping the organization reach its $2 million goal in 2015.

“Over the years, we’ve invested more than half a billion dollars in charitable organizations to help build strong communities, while our volunteer activities have impacted millions of lives. The result is stronger, more stable communities, both in our backyard and around the world,” Jody Trapasso, Senior Vice President—External Affairs and President of the FCA Foundation, said.

This story is the last installment in a three-part series about Kokomo, Ind. See the first installment here.