Employees at Toledo North are good at building.
Not only are they currently building the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler, they also helped build their community while their plant was being retooled in preparation for the launch of the newest generation of the iconic vehicle.
“The relationship between the Jeep brand and the city of Toledo goes back generations. It’s important that our workforce continues fostering that very important bond,” said Chuck Padden, Toledo Assembly Complex Plant Manager. “This was our opportunity to come out and show our thanks to the people of Toledo who have shown us great support over the decades.”
During this time, the plant’s 2,200 employees and 60 retirees took part in a program known as the ‘Season of Service’ and volunteered more than 20,000 hours with dozens of community organizations. Their work in the city of Toledo, which has been home to Jeep vehicles for more than 75 years, included weeding gardens, stocking food pantries and building sheds, fences and paths.
“Toledo Assembly employees have a lot of pride in their work and appreciation for the community,” said Mark Epley, UAW Local 12 Jeep Unit Chair. “We are humbled to be building such an iconic vehicle like the Jeep Wrangler and share that enthusiasm with the city of Toledo.”
Here is a sampling of some of the projects employees participated in, and stories of employees who went above and beyond what they were asked to do.
- Volunteers from Toledo Assembly helped finish a utility shed for Helping Hands of St. Louis in downtown Toledo. Helping Hands is a soup kitchen and outreach program that serves homeless and low-income residents. Among the volunteers who worked on the project was Thomas Hall, Toledo Assembly Complex Team Leader. After his eight-hour shift at Toledo Assembly, Hall was itching to complete the project. So, he returned on his day off. “Leaders don’t wait until ‘next time.’ They honor their commitments, no matter what it takes,” said Hall. “It’s a good feeling to give back. The community has given us so much, we enjoyed returning the favor.”
- FCA US employee Rita Jackson, who created Impact Toledo to upgrade and revitalize city parks, was joined by more than 500 of her coworkers to restore 18 city parks. “The number of people who helped was really impactful. Normally, we would never be able to do anything of this scale,” said Jackson, of their efforts which included graffiti removal, cleaning up trash, landscaping, painting and boarding up vacant structures.
- At Growing Hope Farms in Swanton, just outside of Toledo, Toledo Assembly employees were mobilized to work with the farm to make a wheelchair accessible path out of mulch leading from the house to the barn that would enable all residents to visit the animals. When the team realized that the mulch would be just a “bandage,” they decided to donate their own money and expertise to construct a more permanent solution – a concrete wheelchair ramp. “It was mostly about doing it right,” said Earl Ramirez, Toledo Assembly Complex Paint Shop Team Member. “The farm’s owners had a vision for what we could accomplish quickly, but we always want our work to be the best.”
FCA US invested $700 million to retool the North plant for Wrangler production.
For more information about the 2018 Wrangler, visit the Jeep website.