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New Orleans Toyota

March 22, 2012 by staff 

New Orleans Toyota, In a press conference held today, Courtenay LaRoche confessed to having packed just two changes of clothes for each member of her family when she fled her inner city New Orleans home two days before Hurricane Katrina would ravage the sprawling Southern metropolis.

Thinking it was “just another storm,” she had no idea her home would be destroyed, leaving her family with nothing but the clothes on their back, six and a half years ago last week.

By sharing the secrets of their production systems with the St. Bernard Center, Toyota has greatly reduced the amount of time required to rebuild a home. Thanks to the company’s efforts the St. Bernard Center can construct a housing replacement in half the time took them before the automaker came on board. In addition, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America oresident and Chief Operating Officer Shigeki Terashi presented $100,000 to aid the work of the New Orleans charity.

“This is a dream come true for me and my family. It has been six long years, but, now, we are finally home,” LaRoche said, speaking from her nearly completed new home. “I really appreciate how St. Bernard Project has treated my home, making sure everything is done perfectly. They are thorough with the work they are doing here. The volunteers, the workers, they treat my home like it’s their own. They have such pride in the project; it’s really special.”

The LaRoche family is just one of hundreds helped by the St. Bernard Center. Since the Toyota Production System Support Center partnered with the charity last June. The automakers assistance implemented significant enhancements in productivity, quality, safety and the time it takes to rebuild each house.

“Our construction process simply wasn’t as effective as it could have been, and, as a result, we weren’t bringing as many families home,” said Liz McCartney, co-founder and director of construction for St. Bernard Project. “Using lessons from the Toyota Production System, we have implemented efficiencies that have significantly reduced construction (lead) time to as little as six weeks. That’s half the time it took us to build some houses prior to our partnership with Toyota. These improvements are making an incredible difference in our ability to rebuild homes for families in the New Orleans area quickly and affordably.”

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