An inside look at Dana's new axle manufacturing plant

An inside look at Dana's new axle manufacturing plant

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's always exciting when ground is broken on a new plant that will bring hundreds of jobs to the region, but many times after that, you wait months for anything to happen.

But that's not the case at Dana's new axle manufacturing plant at the Overland Industrial Park.

Major progress is being made on the facility.

Dana started out with just a spec building, with 100,000 square feet of space. But since two new buildings have been added, there is now a total of 300,000 square feet.

Since the August groundbreaking, workers have built the shell so production can begin inside this fall.

Dana's operations manager took us inside for a closer look.

We saw workers finishing off the ceiling or building the maintenance, storage, and quality control areas.

"We maxed out the space that was available on the site and then we've also maxed out the space available inside the building. Every square inch of this place, we've tried to make sure it's productive and serves a purpose. No wasted space," said Ben Brydges, the operations manager for the new plant.

Some of the actual equipment to manufacture the axles for the Jeep Wrangler has already been installed, like robotic welding cells that will make the welding job even safer for workers.

A walk upstairs revealed even more to see, including a better view of the huge manufacturing space. Also, there are state of the art offices where Dana employees are already working.

"Coordinating crews on the nights, on the weekends, the timing of everything. It's kind of like getting all the airplanes to land on the same runway at the right time," Brydges said.

County commissioners toured the plant on Wednesday and are excited about the 300 new jobs that will be available by 2020. Commissioner Pete Gerken said 100 people have already been interviewed.

"It's not too late to get plugged in but it's going to take some work on the applicants' part. There's no freebies here. But for those people who want to go through the steps, this is a life-changing job," Gerken said.

The company said hiring of hourly workers, the ones who will be building the axles, will be the focus this summer. If you're looking at one of the open positions or one soon to be open, go to Dana's website under Careers.

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