Chrysler Group LLC’s Product Design Office (PDO) High School Recruiting Team is a way to motivate Detroit-area high school students to consider a career in automotive design while introducing them to Chrysler Group and the career opportunities available in PDO.
“We developed a presentation that consists of a team of Chrysler designers and modelers taking their personal stories to the students,” says Rose Roth, team captain for the PDO team. “The presentations have been very well received by the students and school administrators, and our team has found the experience to be very rewarding.”
The program consists of a video message to the students by Ralph Gilles, President and CEO — SRT Brand and Motorsports and Senior Vice President – Product Design. When the calendar allows, Gilles joins the team and delivers his message in person. Other team members share their experiences from high school, what inspired them to become designers and what paths they took to get where they are today. The students also receive information about Chrysler and the design process in PDO, and the presentation concludes with a hands-on review of Chrysler vehicles, usually a fleet of 7-9 cars in which the students are allowed to sit and take pictures.
Since September 2011, there have been four presentations: at Winans Academy (Detroit), Pontiac High School (Pontiac), Finney High School (Detroit) and Cass Technical High School (Detroit).
PDO is also working with the United Way to support high school turn-around programs in the Detroit area. “Our team was very impressed with the progress being made at these schools,” Roth adds. “We are currently developing a plan for Product Design Office and United Way to collaborate at the schools in the future.”
Students see the value of the program, too. “I thought this program was very helpful,” said Johnathan Whorton, a 10th grader at Cass Tech. “Heck, we’re in the Motor City. Cars are what we do.”
“The Chrysler Group’s involvement in community sustainability goes beyond the school walls,” says Roth. “Informing students at the high school level about solid career opportunities for highly creative people is vital as the Chrysler Group continues to recruit young talent.”