Could NUMMI Have Stayed Open?

April 2, 2010

On the day that NUMMI closed its doors I ran across this interesting white paper written on March 3, 2010 by Professor Harley Shaiken of University of California, Berkeley as part of The Toyota NUMMI Blue Ribbon Commission. The whitepaper is called “Commitment is a Two-Way Street: Toyota, California and NUMMI”. The commission was appointed by California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer to examine Toyota’s proposed closure of NUMMI.

NUMMI Plant Closes

Whatever point-of-view you are reading the paper from, the theme that I appreciated was is commonly referred to as “respect for People” as part of the Toyota Production System.

“The plant’s most important asset is a highly skilled and experienced workforce. Their average age is 45 and they’ve worked at NUMMI an average of 13.5 years. Their talent, skill and problem-solving ability are at the heart of the famed Toyota Production System. Those assets cannot be reproduced overnight.”

Let’s all hope that these highly skilled workers get a chance to apply what they know to help other manufacturers in the years to come.

To read more go to >> http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/workingpapers/202-10.pdf

To read more go to >> http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/press/20100310_nummi.html

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