Chrysler Group Employee Celebrates Diamond Anniversary With Toledo Assembly Complex

May 24, 2004 , Toledo, Ohio - 

In a culture where the average number of job changes for a working American is 11, Jerome C. "Ski" Wiczynski stands out for his 60 years of service to one company - Chrysler Group's Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex, home of the Jeep® Liberty, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

"We planned to honor Jerome on his retirement this summer, but we hit a roadblock because the guy literally won't quit," said Alberto Gonzalez, Plant Manager - Toledo South Assembly Plant. "Instead of retiring, we're honoring Jerome for his continued commitment to Toledo Assembly. He embodies what we call Jeep Pride -- our continued passion for Jeep vehicles built in Toledo."

Wiczynski was hired at Toledo Assembly in June 1944 following his 16th birthday for 80 cents an hour.  While working the third shift in the shell room making 155mm shells for World War II howitzers, he attended nearby Woodward High School.  In August 1945, Wiczynski took a leave of absence from the plant and enlisted in the Navy to fight in the war, returning to work in March 1949 following his tour of duty.

He has held numerous positions in stamping operations, yard clean up, interstate trucking, and currently sanitation. His favorite job was in the forge, shaping metal into vehicle parts, where he served for 20 years.

An immediate member of Wiczynski's family has worked at the Toledo facility since day one. His father was an original employee when John North Willys purchased Pope Toledo and moved his Willys Overland Co. to Toledo from Indiana. Over the years, his sister and three brothers have worked at the plant, and his daughter is currently a plant employee.

"I'm proud of my work record. If I was absent, I was sick," said Wiczynski. "It doesn't even feel like I've worked here 60 years because I enjoy what I'm doing. Work is good for you."

Wiczynski was born on April 26, 1928, in Toledo, Ohio.  His favorite car is an older model Jeep Wrangler with a standard shift, but loves the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

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