RENTON, Wash. — Kenworth Truck Company’s assembly plant here recently celebrated its 25th anniversary of building Kenworth Trucks.
Kenworth employees and their family members marked the anniversary in conjunction with Kenworth Family Day held at the plant. The event included antique Kenworth trucks, employee classic car show, face painters and caricaturists, plant tours, City of Renton fire truck, food truck, Page Ahead children’s literacy program booth, pit stop challenge, human foosball and a hearty barbecue lunch.
“More than 1,300 people from across Paccar attended Kenworth Family Day, which was a great way to celebrate our employees and the plant’s 25th anniversary,” said Bart Hoemann, Kenworth- Renton plant manager. “Kenworth-Renton employees had an opportunity to showcase their workplace to their families, have some fun, and enjoy all the activities and food. Employees are critical to the plant’s success with the quality, innovation, technology and care they build into every Kenworth truck produced here.”
In 1993, Kenworth opened the 300,000 square-foot plant on a 40-acre site in Renton. The plant’s first truck, a Kenworth T600B – a later version of Kenworth’s first aerodynamic truck that revolutionized the trucking industry – was presented to Stevens Transport.
In 2000, Fortune magazine recognized the Renton plant as one of “America’s Elite Factories,” and the plant received Assembly Magazine’s inaugural “Assembly Plant of the Year Award” in 2004. A year later, Kenworth-Renton had the honor of producing the 700,000th Kenworth truck in company history.
In the past 25 years, the Kenworth-Renton plant has produced more than 144,000 Kenworth trucks. The plant currently produces the T680, T880, T800, W900, C500, K500 and 963 models, along with medium duty Kenworth T370s and T440s. Nearly 20 percent of the plant’s current employees have been working for Kenworth since the plant opened.
“Kenworth’s long-term success in the trucking industry can be traced back to a philosophy established early in the company’s history,” Hoemann said. “Build the right Kenworth truck for each customer’s application,and build that truck to last. That philosophy continues today at the Kenworth-Renton plant.”
Kenworth-Renton has achieved the prestigious ISO 14001:2015 certification for its effective environmental management system, which supports the production of trucks in an environmentally responsible manner.
Earlier this summer, Kenworth-Renton received a 2017 Gold Award from the King County (Wash.) Industrial Waste Program. Part of King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division, the Industrial Waste Program annually honors local facilities whose business practices contribute to protecting regional water quality. Kenworth – Renton has now earned the Gold award for its exemplary wastewater handling practices for four consecutive years, and 18 times in the past 19 years.
This year marks Kenworth Truck Co.’s 95th anniversary. Kenworth has manufactured trucks in the Seattle area since its inception in 1923. The inaugural Seattle plant produced 78 six-cylinder, gasoline-powered trucks. That plant was in service until 1929, when a new plant was built at Yale Avenue and Mercer Street in Seattle and operated until 1946. The company moved its manufacturing to East Marginal Way in South Seattle, and built Kenworth trucks there for more than 50 years.
“Kenworth-Renton continues the company’s amazing legacy of making excellent Kenworth trucks in the Seattle area for the past 95 years,” Hoemann said.
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Kenworth Family Day, part of the 25th anniversary celebration, included antique Kenworth trucks, employee classic car show, face painters and caricaturists, plant tours, City of Renton fire truck, food truck, Page Ahead children’s literacy program booth, pit stop challenge, human foosball and a hearty barbecue lunch. (Courtesy: KENWORTH TRUCK CO.)