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Lear Southfield Helps Gleaners Stamp Out Hunger Through NALC’s 23rd Annual Food Drive

Lear wiring engineering and electrical sales team members in Southfield continued their ongoing support of Gleaners Community Food Bank by folding 4,000 food drive paper bags. Their work was in preparation for the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive, the largest one-day food drive in the country.

Every second Saturday in May, letter carriers in more than 10,000 cities and towns collect non-perishable food from their postal customers. In the food drive’s 20+ year history, this campaign has delivered more than one billion pounds of food.

On May 9, Metro Detroit area residents will join with the local United States Postal Service to collect food for the drive. The USPS will then deliver the donations to Gleaners and other community organizations fighting hunger. Last year, Gleaners received more than a million pounds of food from the drive.

Earlier in January, Frank Orsini, SVP and President – Electrical, led the sales and program management volunteers in donating their time, extra food and funds at Gleaners’ headquarters in Detroit.

Additionally, the electrical sales team has planned an upcoming mid-summer day to put in some hard work in harvesting strawberries, weeding and related labor to help Gleaners prepare for another successful fall harvest.

“We love giving back to the community and supporting a great cause like Gleaners,” said Andrica Nuechterlein, VP – Sales, Electrical. “By partnering with other areas such as Program Management and Engineering we make an even bigger impact and it is also a great opportunity for team building.”

Gleaners’ Volunteer Coordinator Karen Rogensues expressed her appreciation for the Lear team, saying, “Thank you so much for organizing such a wonderful group of volunteers from Lear. We are so grateful for the hard work provided by groups like yours.”

With distribution centers in the four counties that make up the Metropolitan Detroit area, Gleaners distributes more than 45 million pounds of food annually to those in need in southeastern Michigan. About 40% of the recipients are children. Area Lear team members have long supported Gleaners, whose mission is to promote self-sufficiency through education and access as well as fighting hunger.

To learn more about the NALC Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, please visit

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Lear Sunderland Launches Academy for Job Seekers

Lear Sunderland recently launched a new UK government-funded, two-week training program with local partners Pinpoint Training and Recruitment. The initiative aims to support the local community by providing employability and manufacturing training to help create sustainable jobs.

The Lear Sunderland Employability Academy offers specific approaches to unemployed residents to help get them back into the workforce and introduce them to potential careers in manufacturing. Local job centers, work programs, training providers and Pinpoint’s own internal recruitment teams send referrals to the Academy.

Lear Sunderland developed the Academy with the goal that it can provide production operators for the foam facility moving forward; keeping in mind the plant’s current expansion plans.

“Lear benefits by gaining high caliber operators who’ve had some formal training on site, understand the business and process and have been given the opportunity to prove their suitability,” said Alison Burgin, Senior HR Officer. “The Academy will be ongoing to support our recruitment needs now and in the future.”

The program includes site tours and training on employability skills, resume (CV) writing, interview skills, teamwork, equality and diversity, job requirements and promoting Lear as an Employer of Choice. Those who continue to the second week of the Academy attend presentations by Lear departmental personnel regarding manufacturing process and quality issues. Attendees then spend several days on the production line to establish mutual suitability.

Post-Academy, trainees provided Lear with feedback. Many Academy attendees enjoyed learning more about Lear and appreciated the advice about what employers look for in prospective team members. Others gained a good understanding of interview skills and the proper mental approaches to seeking employment.

Last September, Gideon Jewel (Pres. – Seating, Europe & Africa) and Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson officially announced the expansion of the foam plant, with plans to create more than 100 jobs and extend the facility by 3,500 square meters to double the plant’s production capacity.

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Lear Singapore Celebrates Chinese New Year at Senior Residence

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Lear Singapore continued a community service tradition, for the fourth consecutive year, by visiting the Singapore Adventist Home for Elders and sharing an afternoon with its senior residents. Lear’s CFO and Vice President of Finance for Asia, Dave Smidt, and his wife Deborah were also in attendance.

In addition to entertaining and spending time with the home’s residents, Lear sponsored and organized a special Yusheng dinner—a local custom during Chinese New Year, symbolizing the sharing of joy and good luck.

To add to the festivities, Dave dressed as the traditional God of Fortune, much to the appreciation of the elders. Deborah and Lim Kwang Leong, Senior I.T. Manager, served as masters of ceremonies, guiding everyone in bingo games and singing.

“We spent a wonderful afternoon at the elders’ home, and some of them made a special point to come up to us to shake hands and thank us for the visit,” said Eva Zhu, Assistance Finance Controller of Asia. “One lady told me that she was especially looking forward to our visit, and the bingo game and winning the prize was the highlight of her day. ‘However, the God of Fortune looks a bit different from last year,’ she mentioned with a smile.”

Adventist Home Manager Maryanne Tan said, “We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the management and staff of Lear Corporation, for giving our elderly a remarkable afternoon. We thank you for the contributions and wish the organization more success to come.”

“It was great to participate in the event this year, after hearing about it last year,” Dave said. “It was very fulfilling to see the happiness this event brings to the elders but also to the faces of our Lear team. The Lear team did a great job planning and organizing everything.” Dave also expressed special thanks to Wendy Khoo for helping to coordinate the event, shop for gifts and order dinner, and to Chen Yu for being the team’s photographer.

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Lear Vélizy Raises Funds for Young Hospital Patients

On February 19, Lear Vélizy team members Emmanuelle Bulot, Martin Deïssard and Emilie Bergot visited the adolescent ward of the Gustave Roussy Institute, one of the world’s leading cancer research hospitals and one of Europe’s largest oncology centers.

Isabel Hanot, VAT and Customs Director for Europe and Africa, lead the community service effort in cooperation with hospital staffer Mariano Capuano. A special Lear charity bowling event and raffle raised funds for gifts to be purchased for the teenagers being treated at the Institute. The Lear team purchased items such as watches, DVDs, comics and books to raise the spirits of the young patients.

“Our hospital specializes in rare cancer cases,” explained Capuano. “Most of our teens and young adults regularly come for heavy treatments. We try to recreate a family atmosphere and any help in improving their daily lives at the hospital is highly appreciated. This event shows how the hospital professionals and the Lear team can combine their efforts.”

José Barreira, a participant from the Lear team, said, “I enjoyed seeing all these Lear people gathered together for such a good reason.” This was “a nice moment, which was so moving and powerful,” added Larissa Geus, another Lear team member.

During the visit, the Lear team enjoyed an opportunity to speak with the teens and to personally present each of them with a watch of their preference.

“Through their courage, these teens taught us to have a sense of humor and wisdom, how to look ahead in life despite serious diseases and how to handle difficulties with optimism,” said Bulot. “This was a lesson to us all. It brought us great joy to be able to connect with them and to discuss things like our jobs and their hopes for their life in the future.”

With more than 120 team members, Lear Vélizy is a R&D center as well as a corporate and French administrative office located near Paris. Founded in 1926, the Gustave Roussy Institute is located in Villejuif, 4.5 miles south of Paris’ city center. Its mission is to take a wholly-integrated approach to the teaching, research and care of cancer.

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Changchun Lear FAWSN Seating Wins FAW-VW Award

At the Changchun FAW Volkswagen (FAW-VW) Purchasing Working Conference on January 15, Changchun Lear FAWSN Seating Plant was presented with the highest honor, the “PP Top 10 Supplier Award,” for its outstanding performance in quality, R&D, localization, delivery and project management.

The FAW-VW administration and management committee, along with other members of FAW-VW management, VW Germany and Audi’s management team, and more than 600 suppliers, participated in the conference. Mr. Liu Xiyu, general manager of Changchun Lear FAWSN, attended the conference and received this award.

As Changchun Lear FAWSN Seating’s primary customer, FAW-VW produced in total and sold more than 1.8 million vehicles in 2014, which making it the production and sales leader in the China market.

“It was an honor to receive this prestigious award on behalf of the entire team as not only a reward for excellent work performed every day, but also as an incentive in the future for the best customer service,” said Xiyu.

“I would like to congratulate Changchun Lear FAWSN for this very impressive achievement,” said Jay Kunkel, president of Asia-Pacific operations. “Considering that we have about 700 people in Changchun, and more than 250 in Foshan, this is the definition of teamwork accomplished on a major scale.”

Charles Chang, VP and managing director of China, added, “Quality is a critical area for us to exceed our customer’s expectations. Not only did Changchun Lear FAWSN accomplish this but also did so in the areas of R&D, localization, delivery and project management.”

Changchun Lear FAWSN Automotive Seat Systems Co., Ltd. was officially established in 2011 with predecessor Lear Changchun Automotive Interior Systems Co., Ltd. founded in 2004. Annually, the plant assembles 430,000 seat sets, along with foam for 380,000 sets and performing cut & sew for 400,000 sets. It also has a wholly owned subsidiary in the Foshan, Guangzhou province.

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