Teacher and varsity coach Cortni Reeves wins on the assembly line

Aug 15, 2023

Cortni Reeves has a knack for motivating others to do their best.

As a trim and chassis team manager in the Dearborn Truck Plant, Reeves puts those skills into action overseeing a team of skilled process coaches. Some of their critical work includes ensuring the timely and efficient production of chassis components, maintaining safety standards and managing workflows and pay schedules.   

I worked to build relationships with my students, so they could trust me, and I was able to help them.
Cortni Reeves

Reeves had a different career path altogether before joining Ford. She was a dedicated teacher and varsity basketball coach.

“To be a teacher, you have to be a strong leader and direct the team,” she said. “Being a teacher and a basketball coach, I was able to teach and handle different kinds of situations and deal with all kinds of different situations. I worked to build relationships with my students, so they could trust me, and I was able to help them.”

Ten years later, Reeves still stays in touch with her students.  

Reeves began her Ford career working for a supplier at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant. She joined Ford as a long-term supplemental (LTS) employee in 2014. From there, her strong work ethic and a willingness to learn led her to embrace growth opportunities and eagerly take on new responsibilities and challenges.

For anyone in that position, it is worth the chance.
Cortni Reeves

Ford provided Reeves with an avenue to success. The company offers tuition assistance for employees and eligible family members and undergraduate scholarships for eligible dependents. As she honed her skills on the line, she worked her way up to being a process coach, manpower specialist and now, team manager. Reeves holds a Green Belt certification, which taught her critical problem-solving skills.

“For anyone in that position, it is worth the chance,” she said about moving from hourly to a salaried, leadership position. “If you do it and realize that it’s not for you, you can always go back, so you are only gaining if you take the chance.”

“What’s the best word I can use to describe her? Trailblazer,” said Aleah Bell, who worked closely with Reeves on multiple teams. “I call her my work mom,” Bell said. “She’s truly an amazing person and she really helped me getting where I am in my career at Ford.”

I plan on retiring at Ford.
Cortni Reeves

Reeves practices an inclusive leadership style informed by the same natural ability to lead and inspire that made her an effective teacher and coach. Her strong relationships with teammates proved instrumental in achieving outstanding results. Productivity soared under her guidance,and they exceeded their targets. Reeves’ success earned her recognition within the company, and she became a role model for aspiring leaders at Ford.

“I plan on retiring at Ford,” Reeves said. It runs in the family; Reeves grandfather and uncle had both retired from the company, and her father had proudly worked at Ford for 18 years.  “I want to go as far as I can go and as far as my skills can take me," she said.  "My goal is to be a plant manager one day.”