It’s an understatement to say the recession that began in 2008 hit the automotive industry very hard. As the economy rebounds, Chrysler has emerged under new ownership, with growing sales and a fleet of vehicles featuring some of the latest innovations and upgrades. Throughout this challenging economic period Chrysler and Michigan Tech have maintained and grown their long standing partnership.
Since the 1970’s, Chrysler has been engaged with many areas of campus and has provided over $7.5 million in financial support. In just the last six years, Chrysler has donated vehicles and funded a number of activities and programs including Senior Design and Enterprise teams, facilities upgrades, diversity initiatives, student organizations, scholarships, STEM outreach, recruiting and research.
Chrysler finds Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center (KRC) a perfect place for cold-weather testing. Each year, Chrysler uses KRC’s 740 acre winter test track to subject vehicles to the rigors of a Keweenaw winter. To get an idea of the punishment Chrysler vehicles endure during this testing, check out this video showing RAM Trucks during cold-weather testing at KRC.
One of Chrysler’s most popular activities on campus is their Ride & Drive event. Over the past few years company recruiters, visiting campus for Career Fairs, have brought some of Chrysler’s most popular and high-tech vehicles. Students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to drive these vehicles with a Chrysler engineer riding along to learn about the vehicle’s technology and performance and provide feedback on their experience. In addition to the Ride & Drive, the Chrysler recruiting team hosts a popular tailgate party at a home football game the weekend prior to the fall Career Fair. The Chrysler team has also volunteered on Habitat for Humanity projects while in the area.
Chrysler and RAM trucks are significant partners of Michigan Tech’s unique and nationally acclaimed traveling science and engineering festival, Mind Trekkers. For the past three travel seasons, RAM has provided Mind Trekkers with a truck for towing their equipment and supply trailer to numerous events across the country. RAM has also partnered with Michigan Tech’s Enterprise program to develop a ‘game / simulation’ that promotes the capabilities and features of the RAM brand. This game will be delivered to K-12 students as part of the Mind Trekkers Program.
Because of Chrysler’s broad and continuous engagement across campus, Chrysler and Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and students work together on nearly a daily basis. We look forward to extending this rich partnership long into the future.