Field Trip!!!!

This is my life unfolding…

The oldest 3 kids and I took a tour of one of the Toyota factories. One of the leaders in my son’s Boy Scout troop set up the tour. She is seriously amazing and I totally admire her passion to make sure the boys experience everything. In fact, all the leaders of the troop are pretty fantastic. I really could gush about them all day, but I am here to write about our trip. When the prospect of a tour was offered I jumped on it because it would be a duel experience for us; a scout outing AND a field trip! Score!

A friend and I switched kids; she took my younger 2 and I took her 2 older boys to the factory tour. It was a lot of fun and everyone was well behaved.

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Elf and 2 of the extra kids I had.

We were the first to arrive to the factory and had the chance to look around the Visitor Center. It was a lot of fun. There was plenty of hands-on stuff to occupy the kids. Once the rest of the troop was there we headed into a room to watch a brief video and then we headed to the tram.

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What was the first thing the kids noticed? They had a blast pretending to race each other.
Here is C-Dog

 

Can I just say Toyota is impressive! Did you know they have a zero landfill policy? They recycle everything! Their facility is amazingly clean. I don’t know about you but when I think “car factory” I think grease, oil, dust, etc.

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The Toyoda Type-G Automatic Loom invented by Sakichi Toyoda, the father of Toyota Motor Corp.

We learned that the plant used to produce the Tundra, but now makes the Sienna, the Highlander and the Highlander Hybrid. Most are already bought by individuals or dealerships.

 

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C-Dog and his buddy having fun int he Visitor’s Center

 

During the tram tour we got to see the manufacturing process of the Sienna first hand. No pictures were allowed though. I can tell you they make excellent use of all their space and we often had vehicles passing over our heads on conveyor belts! We also learned that Toyota takes their workers’ ideas seriously. When a team member has an idea that will make their job easier and/or more efficient Toyota listens and implements the idea. We actually saw at least one such idea being used. How fantastic to work for a company that actually listens! We also learned that the use of robots does NOT replace the worker. Robots are used to help and not replace. That is reassuring since jobs are hard enough to come by; trust me I know!

An example of a robotic arm used to help workers

An example of a robotic arm used to help workers

Toyota has several cafeterias, vending machine areas, several work-out ares, an on site pharmacy, a day care center, and more. I was left with the impression that they take good care of their employees.

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Bug checking out the plastics exhibit which uses a simulated process that demonstrates injection molding used to mold all the plastic vehicle parts in the plant.

The workers are efficient. They have an allotted time to complete their task on each vehicle; about 60-90 seconds per car! They have safety measures in place and each vehicle is examined and tested. I was amazed at the speed and efficiency in which they worked.

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Elf is working hard to make a car door in the allotted time!

Toyota is involved in the community and encourages all of their employees to do volunteer work. I think all companies need to do this. I also noticed that on the grounds they have an A-forestation section were they are growing new trees. What a great way to counter the Carbon Footprint they are creating and a true inspiration to the rest of us.

Overall, this trip was fantastic. What I saw of Toyota was incredible. I really can’t say enough positives about them based on what we saw. If you ever have the chance to tour a car factory I recommend it. Maybe your experience won’t be as positive as ours, but it was a true learning experience and it is something my kids will never forget.

~Andrea

**This is not a Toyota review. This is simply a post about a field trip to one of their plants. We had a great experience. All the opinions are mine based on what I saw during the tour.

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14 thoughts on “Field Trip!!!!

    • Funny you should ask that….we are actually trying to get back to our “home” state. So our job search isn’t in this area 🙂 Although we have been beyond blessed we want to return to were we moved from. We would be back there now except my son broke his foot so we are sticking it out until he heals.

  1. I happened upon your blog because your post to the “lady behind you in the grocery store ” made the front page of the Yahoo homepage. I have been reading your blog and enjoyed it very much. I have 4 children, that are now in various stages of adulthood (my youngest will graduate high school in June). I have many feelings when I read your blog….amazement, sympathy, fear, hope, pride. I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry your life is hard right now and I wish you much better days ahead. Your children have been blessed with amazing and loving parents. Hang in there!

  2. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. They are doing everything they can for their family. Just pray for them and for people like them. Times are hard for alot of people right now. Where I live, there is no jobs at all. My husband works full time and I work part time. We are struggling because I can’t find a better job. Don’t judge other people, you have no idea how their life is or what all they have been through. It is only GOD’S place to judge.

  3. I had the utmost pleasure and honor to tour two car factories, the first in Van Nuys, CA, which closed in 2000, GM Camaros, cars and lastly Saab’s. Quite facinating! The ‘tour director’ was an older employee who regalled us with many stories, facts and opinions of the factory’s great history.

    The other was the pristigeous BMW plant in Bavaria, Germanyow . So effecient! So wonderful to see how our machines get made! I was, by this time,age, and traveling, so many wonderful memories, getting to see new places and meeting new and interesting people! I really thank u for taking the time to write some of your experiences down for some of us to see and read. Education has many forms! I wish you and your family better times and also thank you for being an active, engaged parent. Seems to be rare thse days! Also, down on my times from health issues, I’ve NEVER felt more ’embarrased’ or ashamed to be me, than when it came to having nothing in my pockets or seemingly future better times. The fear and not-knowing were worse than any fever, back ache, stomach ache, heart-ache or brain malfunction I could ever have.

    Best of luck..
    Eric

  4. I like that you block the children’s faces. Common sense. Not so common anymore. I, too, have had my share of difficulties. I think It should make us better, not bitter. That’s what an old English teacher of mine used to say.

    • I, too, like that you block your children’s faces. You include them, as they are the story(or part of it), and yet protect them at the same time. Well done. I happened on this blog because it is circulating on Facebook and the kindness of the stranger behind you that didn’t judge you. I’m glad to see that there are still people in this world that will help someone in need out.

  5. Hi. I saw your post about the generous person helping your family. There are some amazing people who have the power touch our lives in powerful ways. I also saw job the job offer with someone staying they will be hiring in the Atlanta area. I live in the Atlanta area and am looking for employment. Please forward my name and information. I was displaced from my job due to budget cuts. Thanks for your story. It brought a much needed smile.

  6. I have been where you are and so hate to put job leads…do not want you to think I am insulting you. Look on USA jobs…all federal jobs(worldwide) are posted there. If you are good with computers you will have a leg up on the others. Posting your resume is hard… also every job that is posted has a job category /classification(always a 4 digit number I think)(or booklet)…you can find this on the http://www.opm.gov website. Use those booklets to tailor your resume to that job announcement. I think you can have as many as 10 resumes on http://www.usa.gov . ok I went to http://www.opm.gov and the booklets are contained within the “handbook of occupational groups and families”…this is its web address http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/classifying-general-schedule-positions/occupationalhandbook.pdf

    Remember they create the job announcement based mostly of the classification handout(sp tailor your resume to what the booklet says for that clssification number and other job requirements on the job announcement)…for example any number in the 0601 range would start the medical series jobs….0610 is a nurse….0621 is a nurse assistant and so on…hundreds of these classifications just for medical.

    OPM office of personnel management basically oversees all federal workers(HR department).

    I am not a great writer or typist, I Pray some of this rambling may help. You have my email if you have questions. If I do not know the answers I know ppl who do.

    Also, take any money that is offered and any help…ignore what you do not need. Be careful of ppl, Some are not safe for may many reasons and unfortunately some like to kick you when you are down. No honor.

    You will be ok!

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