May 25, 2012 10:38 AM
To inspire someone to dream beyond their existing horizons is a
wonderful gift to give. That’s the motivation behind Chrysler
Group LLC’s Product Design Office (PDO) High School
Recruiting Team. The program 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 our vehicles, usually a fleet
of 7-9 cars in which the students are allowed to sit and take
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
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.”
“I really like the Charger. This is the car I’m
supposed to take to prom,” said Tanaeja Davis, a Cass Tech
12th grader. “I was amused by all the trucks and the little
“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.”