Interview with BorgWarner Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Tonit Calaway
The ability to be innovative is essential in today’s manufacturing industry. That and the ability to utilize technology in new ways can mean the difference between being a company on the forefront of new ideas and a business slowly being overtaken
Today’s talent grew up surrounded by technology and a smart employer must showcase those high-tech opportunities in order to attract new faces. BorgWarner Inc., a global leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, looks to embrace this new workforce with an in-house destination for innovation which is setting them apart from the rest of the industry.
“Our eyes are trained on the future,” says Tonit Calaway, vice president and chief HR officer for BorgWarner. “Technology is everywhere. It’s part of everything we do and only becoming more important. We want to be the company millennials come to because we’re developing high-tech innovations that drive the world forward.”
At BorgWarner, teams live in the future every day at the company’s Technical Center in Auburn Hills.
“It’s the lifeblood of the company, and the center of innovation and creativity,” says Calaway. “All our businesses have a presence there. It’s a special place — it’s where we attract the best and brightest to come and help us innovate.”
A company focused on developing propulsion systems should always be moving forward. To that end, BorgWarner established the Technical Center to nurture a collaborative, future-focused environment that inspires innovation.
“Manufacturing helped build this country but we need to recognize that the manufacturing of tomorrow will not look like the manufacturing of yesterday — technology moves us forward,” says Calaway.
“How we communicate, how we collaborate, how we improve efficiency and processes, it’s all impacted by technology. If you want to stay in business, you need to make technology a priority.”
That’s what BorgWarner is doing. The company is investing millions into technology-driven improvements to the Technical Center, including a 46,000-square-foot expansion and 250 new jobs.
“It’s an environment where we can maximize our resources, including talent, to bring new innovations to market faster,” says Calaway.
The state-of-the-art research facility includes countless new technologies to address current and future trends of the industry, including new friction test equipment and a variety of energy and water-efficient equipment. Employees also benefit from a fully-equipped 4,000-square-foot fitness facility and wellness clinic.
“When I look at where manufacturing is heading, it’s so exciting, it energizes me,” says Calaway. “Something you and I aren’t even considering is being thought about by someone some-where — why not at BorgWarner? I think people want to be part of manufacturing’s innovation age. Here, they can be.”
This article appeared in the January 2017 issue of MiMfg Magazine. Read the full issue and find past issues online.