Volkswagen’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee Celebrates 1st Year
The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga awarded Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations their Corporate Leadership Award as a part of the league’s annual Equal Opportunity Day event.
“Volkswagen has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion as a sound and equitable business practice,” said Warren E Logan, Jr., President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. “We hope we can help promote this practice to a larger percentage of the business community,” Logan said.
Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations also celebrated the first year of a productive working relationship with a group of involved citizens from several local organizations that have been advising Volkswagen on matters related to integrating into the Chattanooga community.
The Volkswagen Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, is an advisory body committed to integrating the concept of diversity inclusion in the manufacturing process and assuring equal opportunity for all employees.
Hans-Herbert Jagla, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, and Don Jackson, President of Manufacturing, serve as the executive champions of the council.
“Our diversity vision is to be known as a company that values the contributions of men and women of all backgrounds,” Jagla said. “This is an enormous task, therefore we enlisted the support of a Diversity Advisory Council. We have always believed that our company benefits from a proactive diversity strategy with employees, customers, dealers or our business partners,” Jagla said.
“We value the diversity of the team we are creating here in Chattanooga,” Jackson said. “A diverse team assures us that we have the community’s values included in all that we do, both here at the plant and in the community,” Jackson said.
Members of the advisory council include:
- Valoria Armstrong, President of the Chattanooga NAACP
- Dr. Tommie Brown, Tennessee State Representative
- Dr. James Catanzaro, President Chattanooga State Technical Community College
- Beverly J. Cosley, Director of the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Marj Fleming, Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute
- Sherrie Gilchrist, President of the Tennessee Multicultural Chamber of Commerce
- Cheri Henderson, President of the Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council
- Stacy Johnson, Director of La Paz
- Deborah Levine, President of the American Diversity Report
- Warren E. Logan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga
- Dr. Warren Mackey, Hamilton County Commissioner
- Mattie Moran, Director of Workforce Development & Education, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
- Dr. Bryan Samuel, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- Dr. Jim Scales, Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools
“When we formed this group, we asked for the involvement of individuals representing groups who have been historically disadvantaged, with the goal of ensuring that all employees are treated with dignity and respect and that all qualified suppliers have access to business opportunities,” said Machelle Williams, Volkswagen’s General Manager of Diversity and Organizational Development.
The group meets quarterly.
Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will invest $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and create more than 2,000 direct jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to the project. The Chattanooga plant will build a new midsize sedan specially designed for the North American market.
- Volkswagen Group of America