Training Within Industry's rich history originated in the United States in the 1940s where the program was a resounding success, boosting industrial production of war material beyond expectations. The program was born out of the need to rapidly train unskilled workers entering the war production workforce as many skilled laborers went off to war.

Crisis Created a Need

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie-the-Riveter, a commonly used symbol of the WWII workforce, was a real person. Rose Will Monroe was a riveter of B-29 and B24 airplanes at Willow Run aircraft factory in Michigan. She was asked to star in a promotional film about war production and also became the U.S. “poster-girl” for women joining the workforce. She is fondly used by the TWI Institute to symbolize the passion and pride associated with TWI since the 1940s!

The TWI Service was one of the first emergency services established during World War II by the U.S. Government War Production Board in the early 1940’s.

A national network of professionals was drafted from industry to develop techniques to quickly ramp up the production of war materials.

The TWI Mission:

  • To help industry to help itself to get out more materials than have ever been thought possible, and at constantly accelerating speed
  • The real job had to be done by industry, within industry

By the end of the war over 1.6 million workers in roughly 16,500 plants had received certified training in TWI.

Impact of TWI on the War Effort

Of the 600 client companies monitored by the TWI Service throughout the war:

  • 86% increased production by at least 25%
  • 100% reduced training time by 25% or more
  • 88% reduced labor-hours by over 25%
  • 55% reduced scrap by at least 25%
  • 100% reduced grievances by more than 25%

Expansion in Japan

Training Within Industry was introduced in Japan during post-war rebuilding. It is still in widespread use in Japan and most notably, in Toyota as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is a foundation to Toyota's success in continuous improvement, standard work and more importantly, in its ability to sustain those improvements.

Faded Memory, Emerging Movement

During the prosperity of post-war America, the TWI program was abandoned and it soon became a faded memory. Thanks largely to the not-for-profit Central New York Technology Development Organization (CNYTDO); TWI is experiencing a rebirth throughout industry. Lean enterprises are increasingly turning to TWI as a means to emulate Toyota's ability to sustain improvements and achieve standard work. Industries such as healthcare, construction, and manufacturing are reaping modern day benefits from this proven and recently revived program.

Much more extensive historical material has been written by TWI enthusiasts over the years. Click here for related for articles and books.