Manufacturing in the modern age

Galax High School dual enrollment welding students recently traveled to Kernersville, North Carolina to tour the John Deere Hitachi manufacturing facility.  The two companies (one American and the other Japanese) started a joint venture more than 10 years ago to build world class excavators.  The plant employs nearly 1000 people, over half of whom are welders.  Starting pay is over $21.00 per hour for their welders.

Students learned that John Deere Hitachi is a lean manufacturing facility, which means that they only produce if they have an order for an excavator.  That certainly has not been a problem for the past 36 months.  The plant produces 20 finished excavators per day and has orders months out in the future.   


 GHS students in the human resources room at John Deere Hitachi in Kernersville,NC


A John Deere Hitachi employee inspects a weld on a part of an excavator arm before it is attached to the main frame.

A John Deere Hitachi employee welding.