The local Honda of America Manufacturing community celebrated the $1.9 million investment in its new training center Friday morning.
The 64,0000 square-foot facility first opened in April — 24,000 square feet is dedicated to historical vehicle storage.
It holds 240 new and training associates at capacity within its four classrooms and several training rooms and stations and it employs about 40 Honda Retiree Contractors.
“They’re an amazing work force,”commented Donna Hall, Honda Manufacturing Training Center team manager.
Keith Strickland, associate chief engineer and division manager at the East Liberty Auto Plant, agreed.
“You can’t have better trainers,” he said.
The training center hosted a celebration of both itself and the 40th anniversary of Honda of America Manufacturing in the United States on Friday.
Strickland said in an event like this he is trying to illustrate Honda’s commitment not only to Logan County and West Central Ohio, but Ohio in general and “the commitment and responsibility we have to communities we operate in.”
“This is our opportunity to give back to the community by being able to open our doors and show them what it is we do everyday,” he said. “It’s a great example of the investment we make in our new associates.”
Prior to the training center, each plant (in Marysville, East Liberty and at the Anna Engine Plant) did its own training independently.
“(Training was) very short — 2 to 4 days,” Hall said.
But each plant helped with the set-up process of the new training center, Hall said.
After some “benchmarking” Hall said Honda discovered a two-week training process was the “sweet spot.”
Now the two-week process helps prepare new associates for their jobs to come.
“We teach them as much about the basics as we can during that time,” Hall said. “That time helps them make the decision like, ‘Is this for me?’”
In addition to job training, new associates learn about the Honda culture.
“We want to give them all the tools we possibly can,” Hall said. “We need them to be successful … We want to make sure our new associates understand our quality, so, we teach them the right way the first time. What they’re learning is something that’s going to make them successful.”
Training helps new associates get into the feel of working constantly with their hands and even includes physical conditioning to help prepare them to be on their feet for eight hours a day.
“We want to get them physically prepared for what they’re going to do when they hit the floor,” Hall said.