In what definitely come as the non-automotive-but-still-relevant news for the day, UAW-Ford have announced a partnership with the American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) National Child Identification Program to distribute 225,000 inkless fingerprint ID kits to Ford plant employees.
Those not familiar with the fingerprint ID kits should know that they are kept with the child’s family and, according to Ford, “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.
To note, UAW-Ford employees get the kits for free thanks to purchases by UAW-Ford. And for every kit bought by UAW-Ford, the National Child Identification Program will donate a kit, which 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.
The following statement by Ford’s VP for labor affairs should provide the reasoning for the program:
“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 National Child Identification Program was created in 1997 by the American Football Coaches Association with the goal of creating a fingerprint record of 20 million children. According to a Ford news release, the popularity of the program has far exceeded expectations, with more than 32 million kits distributed nationally and internationally, thereby 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.”
The program to distribute the 225,000 fingerprint ID kits is the result of Ford Chicago Stamping Plant’s independent implementation of the program at an employee event during the summer. Ford says that the kits were so well received that the decision was made to roll it out across all UAW-Ford facilities.
All Ford U.S. plants and parts distribution centers were approached for the program, and all UAW-Ford facilities have signed up for it. Participating facilities include assembly, stamping, powertrain operations and all parts distribution centers, as roughly 225,000 kits will be distributed, including the 50,000 kits to be donated to Detroit Public Schools.