DEARBORN - Many children woke up excited Thursday to ditch the classroom and tag along with their parents. For one day only, many children of Ford employees joined the Blue Oval team as Ford celebrated its 13th annual “Take Your Child to Work Day.”
This year’s Dearborn event, with more than 600 employees and children in attendance, kicked off at the Conference and Event Center where the children had a chance to participate in a range of activities and sit in on their own version of a town hall address from President and CEO Alan Mulally.
“Usually I start out and update everyone with where we are,” said Mulally as he opened up and prepared for the crowd’s questions. “But today I am going to update you before all the employees. Here’s how it’s going; we’re operating profitable and all your parents, your moms and dads, contributed to this.”
While the kids weren’t so interested in hearing about the company’s growth, they did take an interest in finding out Mulally’s favorite vehicle and even his favorite employee – which is all 160,000 of them, according to Mulally.
One of the kids asked him about his first car.
“I think I had a 1963 Chevrolet,” he answered. “I don’t know what I was thinking but I remember I painted the rims black and I polished it every day.”
But when the next child asked him what his favorite vehicle was, Mulally made it clear that now the only time he drives a non-Ford vehicle is to make sure the company is ahead of the competition.
“I love all Fords,” he said. “I drive a different one every night and I like them all. Sometimes I even drive the competitors’ cars to check them out but as long as it has a Blue Oval on it I’m going for it.”
Mulally was also asked how it felt to be one of Ford’s most successful people. “When I was growing up, like you, I always wanted to do something important. I found my first love with airplanes and then I came to Ford. Bill Boeing and Henry Ford were two very successful people and to get a chance to work here at Ford is very, very satisfying,” he said.
After the Q&A portion, the families participated in events like the healthy snack assembly, fit kids club training, demonstrations of the process of drawing a Ford vehicle from professional sketch artists and a meet and greet with professional race car driver Audrey Zavodsky.
As Mulally greeted and took photos with attendees, he expressed the importance of a child’s education and the significance of their parent’s role in Ford’s success. Ford is a family company with lots of generations working in the facilities around the world. With Thursday’s event, Mulally hoped to spark an interest in some of the children, inspiring them to be the young Ford innovators of tomorrow.
“I’m so glad you came and so pleased to be here with you and your parents. I hope you continue your studies and consider working with Ford Motor Company someday,” said Mulally.