university helps save a factory in alabama
General Motors said the small factory made a replacement carburetor for GM. M.
Cars are no longer profitable for 20 years.
Even $1 was executed.
Cost of 5 million
Cuts, G. M.
The company said it would have to cut another $500,000 from the operating budget of the Rochester product plant to keep the plant operating.
This is the official of G. M.
United Auto Workers, together with community leaders, seek help from the community\'s largest employer and its leading institution, the University of Alabama.
The university agreed on an experimental project in January, in which it will send students and faculty to the factory within three years to find ways to simplify operations, reduce costs and increase the competitive power of the factory
In a joint statement involving the company and the Union, the university reported this month that it has identified the $470,000 annual cost savings that the automaker has promised to implement.
In addition, the university says the project it is reviewing has the potential to cut costs by $175,000 a year.
\"It all means that the factory will remain open,\" said Tom Gilligan, plant manager . \".
\"It means we will stay here for a long time.
\"In fact, the company officials said the experiment was very successful and the company will explore ways to transfer the new production line to Tuscaloosa.
The proposed savings involve various innovations designed by students and teachers, from plans to reduce energy costs by recycling groundwater through plant cooling systems to new electronic monitoring systems that reduce safety costs.
The program also includes efforts to leverage the university and its facilities to involve employees in the development of new costs-
In a project, Kennedy Jones, a graduate student in engineering at the University, is working with factory staff to build and design automated packaging systems.
In addition, the university has begun to provide basic computer courses for factory employees.
Some of the university\'s projects are funded by GM, which guarantees that the school receives a $250,000 grant and scholarship each year to continue its research.
Earlier this year, the deal was reached at a time when the unemployment rate in the state was close to 16%, the highest in the country.
\"At the beginning, a lot of employees were worried that the whole project would cost us some work,\" said factory union official Grady Cook . \".
\"But these students have worked very well.
The main thing is that the factory will remain open.
\"Any measures put forward so far will not force a reduction in the existing labor force.
Five students and dozens of faculty members have been working in the factory since January 7, most of them from the School of Engineering and the School of Business and Business Administration.
Many students work 20 hours a week and get the minimum wage. Mr.
Gilligan said GM initially sought the involvement of university officials as part of a larger experiment on how to make small, remote factories more efficient and competitive.
\"To be frank, the factory will be closed anyway,\" said Mr. Gilligan.
\"So this is a great opportunity to experiment. And it worked.
When the agreement was announced on January, G. Described the plant. M.
As an experimental model of \"application research facility\" and \"future factory.
\"University officials are also pleased with the results of the program, which provides students with operational experience in an industrial environment.
At one point, students in the university\'s housekeeping department have been using factories to test the durability of fabrics worn by workers.
Meanwhile, student nurses are helping the medical stations in the factory to work.
This project is not without risk for the university.
Under the agreement, the university promised to pay GM $500,000 a year for access to the plant.
Any cost savings found by the university will then be deducted from the rent.
\"If we fail, we will owe $1 in three years.
\"5 million of the rent, the factory will be closed anyway . \"
University of Alabama President Joab Thomas \"not to mention that there will be an active search committee at the university to find my successor.
\"The early success of the successful payment of the salary plan also means that factory employees will receive nearly $1,500 per person, which the workers have allowed to deduct from their wages since January.
Help pay for it. Dr.
Thomas said he believes that the opportunity to participate in industrial experiments is a way to practice his personal philosophy that higher education can contribute more to the economic development of a region.
\"In the next five years, I think you will see the outbreak of this kind of activity and develop a new alliance involving business and universities,\" he said . \"
Thomas added that the university has been approached by other industries.
Local government officials also raised $75,000 to help the project hit the ground.
\"This is an opportunity for the university to do something from the Ivory Tower, except to write some learned articles that no one has read,\" said the doctor . \"J.
Barry Mason, professor of University Business School, head of total cost
Saving Task Force.
\"The facilities we have built here can help attract the industry and move the area again.