Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on UAW training programs

If you're in the market for 259,959 square feet of flex industrial, office and warehouse space that's "centrally located in the heart of metro Detroit's automotive epicenter" and you don't blush at a $20 million price tag, then you might be in luck. The buildings housing the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center on East Nine Mile Road in Warren, complete with an auditorium and parking for 500 vehicles, are for sale. Marick Masters, a Wayne State University business professor who specializes in labor issues, said any changes connected to the training centers are meant to continue the training but in a more fiduciarily responsible manner. Masters said he expects the training itself to shift as well, in part to better prepare the workforce and to focus on technological change in the industry. "I would expect that you would see the training focus on the nuts and bolts of production and getting workers up to speed," Masters said. "Right now when they've really got to account for every penny that they spend ... they are going to make sure these are genuine training programs that are going to promote the interests of the company and the union." Masters said the training centers in recent years had been engaged in community projects, such as supporting charities, which allowed for some laxity. Those efforts are better handled through philanthropic organizations, he said.

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