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Tinora Teachers Visit GM, Decked, and APG

Updated: Feb 21

(Story courtesy of Kevin Nadrowski of GM Communications)

DEFIANCE, Ohio — GM Defiance and the Defiance County Economic Development Group hosted 65 local community schoolteachers for a plant visit on Friday, February 16. The tour was part of the Tinora Schools Educator Bus Tour, in which local teachers received a first-hand look at community business processes and skills required to equip students as they prepare to enter the workforce.


GM Defiance is an aluminum foundry and machining center that produces multiple cylinder blocks and cylinder head castings for a variety of GM vehicles. During the plant tour, teachers were broken up into small groups and visited several manufacturing areas of the plant, including block manufacturing, head manufacturing, the pattern shop, and pre-machining areas. Represented and salaried Defiance team members provided an overview of each area during the plant tour, showcasing manufacturing processes and highlighting various skills required to perform jobs in each area.


Above: Tinora teachers observe some of the procedures involved in creating castings for aluminum engine blocks.

Brian Wonderly, a 7th and 8th grade science teacher at Tinora Middle School, participated in the plant tour. “I would like to thank General Motors for providing us the opportunity to visit the plant to see the level of innovation in the manufacturing environment and how this translates in the classroom,” said Wonderly. “This firsthand experience will help us prepare our students for potential career opportunities in the future.”


The plant team also provided an overview of the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Certification (STARC). This program is a series of hands-on classes open to GM employees and external applicants. These classes provide foundational skills needed to become eligible for the apprentice program and a journeyperson in a trade of choice.


Paige Johnson, assistant executive director, Defiance County Economic Development, coordinated the visit with GM Defiance and Tinora Schools. “It is incredibly important to get our educators inside our local manufacturing facilities,” said Johnson. “Through the help of General Motors, along with other local businesses, on-site visits like these can help expose teachers to skills needed and prepare the next generation of workers for future opportunities, such as in-demand skilled trades positions and STEM-related careers. We look forward to a continued relationship with General Motors on this value-added program.”


GM Defiance is proud to showcase manufacturing operations and help prepare the next generation for future career opportunities.


Mary Boyd, quality manager, GM Defiance, is very appreciative and proud to share insight with local schoolteachers. “This is a wonderful opportunity to represent General Motors in the local community.” said Boyd. “Programs like these allow us to share our experiences and highlight real-world manufacturing processes to our local schoolteachers, which will help prepare students for potential opportunities in the manufacturing environment, both at General Motors and other local businesses.”

Above: GM Powertrain tour guides, Tinora teachers, and Paige Johnson and Dave Hire of Defiance County Economic Development pause during their tour.


In addition to visiting GM Defiance, local schoolteachers also visited:

·         DECKED – a company that designs and manufactures truck bed storage systems, produced in Defiance, OH and St. George, UT.

·         APG – A Packaging Group is a cosmetic and beauty packaging industry, with factories in the US and Asia.


Interested in learning more about skilled trades and the STARC program? Please visit the websites below for additional information about GM’s apprentice program.

·         GM-UAW Seniority Employees can enroll here:

·         Non-seniority / external applicants can enroll here:


General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, CadillacBaojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at 

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