DEARBORN – UAW-Ford is joining forces with the American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) National Child Identification Program to distribute inkless fingerprint ID kits to tens of thousands of families in communities across the country.
The kits, which are kept with the child’s family, provide an easy way for families to create a record of their children’s fingerprints and other identifying information for quick reference if ever needed by law enforcement. The kits will be offered, free of charge, to all UAW-Ford employees at participating plants and parts distribution centers.
For every kit purchased by UAW-Ford for plant employees, the National Child Identification Program will donate a kit. The matching kits will be distributed to families in the communities that are home to Ford manufacturing plants through local schools, churches and law enforcement. In addition, the National Child Identification Program will donate 50,000 kits to Detroit Public Schools.
“Safety is the No. 1 priority at Ford and it is also our responsibility to look out for the safety of our employees’ families, as well as our neighbors,” ” said Marty Mulloy, Ford vice president for labor affairs. “The ultimate goal of the National Child Identification Program is to provide an ID kit for every child in the United States, and we’re proud to partner with the UAW to help them achieve that goal.”
The Texas-based AFCA created the National Child Identification Program in 1997 with a goal of creating a fingerprint record of 20 million children. The popularity of the program has far exceeded expectations, with more than 32 million kits distributed nationally and internationally, making the National Child Identification Program the largest child identification effort ever conducted.
“Our hardworking members are an integral part of the cities and towns where they work, so we’re happy to give something back to the community, especially if it helps keep kids safe,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW-Ford vice president. “We understand the importance of giving back to the communities where we live and work – it is a part of our heritage.”
Ford’s Chicago Stamping Plant implemented the program independently at an employee event during the summer. It was so well received that the decision was made to roll it out across all UAW-Ford facilities.
“I want to thank the UAW and Ford Motor Company for their commitment in helping protect our nation’s children,” said Kenny Hansmire, executive director, National Child Identification Program. “From start to finish, this project took less than 90 days. Ford and UAW leadership said ‘this is the right thing to do,’ then they rolled up their sleeves and got it done. Because of that, many of our nation’s children will be safer today.”
All U.S. plants and parts distribution centers were approached, and all UAW-Ford facilities have signed up for the program. Participating facilities include assembly, stamping, powertrain operations and all parts distribution centers. Approximately 225,000 kits will be distributed, which includes the 50,000 kits to be donated to Detroit Public Schools.
“The safety and security of our students is a top priority at Detroit Public Schools and giving the parent or guardian of each and every DPS student the ability to have a record of their child’s fingerprints certainly enhances the public safety measure we already have in place in case of emergency situations,” said Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “We cannot thank UAW-Ford enough for its continued, strong partnership and for their commitment to the community.”