How FCA and an army of contractors raced against time to put together 1st new assembly plant in Detroit in 3 decades
The steel assembly work was split between Aristeo, Ideal Contracting, and Indiana Bridge Inc., a Muncie, India-based steel manufacturing company that worked at the Little Caesar’s Pizza headquarters in downtown Detroit and the paint shop at the FCA assembly plant in Sterling Heights.
“We had two concrete construction companies, we had three excavation companies, we had two different roofers,” said Haller.
The Schreiber Corp. in Warren rebuilt the roof of Mack I for the general assembly, and Fred Christen & Sons Co. from Toledo took over the roof work on Mack II for the body shop.
“We did this so that there would be enough craft work and craft supervision to complete the job,” said Haller.
Trade unions received monthly forecasts of retail working hours to help union leaders plan and organize workers in an “overheated” construction job market, Haller said.
The spring coronavirus shutdown required additional shifts and workers, especially millers, to assemble the tools at the new facility, said Mike Barnwell, president of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.
“The timeline was extremely tight to begin with and with COVID, the end date didn’t change much, just the number of hours our men and women had to train there and the number of people it took to do it,” Barnwell said .
About 40 percent of the dollar value of contracts and subcontracts for the general assembly and body shops were given to minority, veteran, or women-owned companies, Haller said.