Volkswagen Mandates Workout Program in New Tennessee Plant

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic

If you want to work at Volkswagen, you’d better start hitting the gym. This is especially true if you work at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, where new hires are required not only to take the usual job training, but also go through a fitness program.

In the attempt to build an “industrial athlete” – one who can lift, grip, bend and push without tiring –VW has opened its training academy at the $1 billion plant site. In preparation for the projected production start early next year, dozens of workers have already started pumping up before they start pumping out new cars.

In a region best known for its love of Little Debbie snack cakes, MoonPies and Krystal burgers, trainees are up to the physical challenge. In fact, some of the new hires have reportedly lost as much as 30 pounds after three weeks of training.

These workouts are also aimed at building better product quality when the plant starts rolling out midsized sedans. Volkswagen Chattanooga spokesman Scott Wilson says the time spent in the classroom, hands-on training and fitness training are all “focused on getting each and every one of us, no matter what our job is at the plant, prepared to show up and perform at the highest level of professional excellence.”

The lucky ones who have been hired have had the help of fitness trainers that put them through “on-the-clock” workouts. The workouts follow health testing and are individually tailored to their future production jobs that include the paint shop, body shop and assembly.

Workouts are done daily and last about two hours. Exercises are directly linked to movements plant employees will have to do every day and include stretching, cardiovascular strength, endurance, grip and how much they can push and pull.

[Source: USA Today]

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

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  • Blaine Stanziana Blaine Stanziana on Jun 17, 2010

    I worked at VW's first assembly plant which opened 32 years ago in 1978 in New Stanton Pennsylvania. VW ruined thousands of lives when after 10 years of producing quality cars 1.2 million of them, they closed the doors as soon as the ten year tax breaks ran out, they never looked back leaving 2,500 employees to fen for themselves. I dont think the government should allow them to open a second plant in the USA at all after what they pulled in Pennsylvania, but then the germans were always great at ruining peoples lives, history repeats itself, VW sucks !!!!

  • Warren Kuhn Warren Kuhn on Jun 13, 2014

    Blaine, You go from place to place crying about VW. "Fend for themselves" is generally what people do in life. Volkswagen is a progressive company and the article is about the benefits of a fitness plan and the results it's yielding. You're broad statement on what Germans do is ignorant, especially coming from someone who lives in Pennsylvania where there is a rich heritage of German immigrants.