Cheryl Taylor

  • Going Pro Talent Fund

Cheryl Taylor, an electrician, was one Detroit employee to benefit from the training.

Detroit Diesel Corporation, located in Detroit, Michigan, is a leading truck powertrain manufacturer and part of Daimler Trucks of North America. Since the company began in 1938, it has built over 5 million engines in the facility, 340,000 of which were the DD engine family – the most fuel efficient engine in the industry. Detroit has also built over 1.1 million front and rear axles. In 2012, Detroit Diesel announced the launch of the Transmission, Turbo, and New Final Drive assembly and machining lines.

Detroit’s growing product, coupled with high production rates on our current lines, required Detroit to rely more heavily on its skilled workforce. To address the growing needs of the company, it began a rigorous training program for its skilled workforce.

In January 2015, Detroit Diesel began its training program with the assistance of Skilled Trades Training Funds. Over the next 16 weeks, Detroit conducted approximately 5,024 hours of training across 18 classes. Siemens partnered with Detroit to bring in two different sets of training simulators to support many of the training classes. Because of the grant, the classes enabled Detroit to train 81 employees across both the day and afternoon shifts. The classes were mainly concentrated on the hourly skilled trades, but included a few salary engineers as well as Axle Maintenance employees.

Cheryl Taylor, an electrician, was one Detroit employee to benefit from the training. Cheryl began her career as an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Air Force. After leaving the Air Force, she began studying to be a science teacher, but decided that there were more job opportunities for her at that time as an electrician. Cheryl joined DDC as a journeyman and has been with Detroit Diesel for 23 years.

“I absolutely see benefits from this training!” said Cheryl. “Before the training, not all our tradespeople were knowledgeable about the specific systems we use, and they had to learn on the job. This training provided people a great knowledge base. I also really learned from the programming. For years we’ve relied more on the American Ladder Logic system with most of our machines. Learning Siemens programing, taught me about the international approach, and prepared me for the future – as most of our equipment is now coming from Germany. Siemens is the direction Detroit is going with our machines, so training like this is not only helpful but necessary.” This training was also beneficial beyond the actual material learned. “It was a wonderful opportunity for other tradespeople like myself, generally isolated on our jobs, to come together and share ideas,” said Cheryl. “We were able to work together as a team, to troubleshoot together, and to learn about the