Chattanooga Volkswagen plant was 4th in Don Jackson's career

photo Don Jackson, President of manufacturing at Volkswagen of Chattanooga, speaks to new hires inside of the company's training center.

AT A GLANCEReared: Elizabethtown, Ky.Age: 56Education: Eastern Kentucky UniversityWork: Clark Equipment, Toyota, VolkswagenPersonal: Married to wife Jerre, three childrenQuote: "I love to do things hands-on and be in a manufacturing environment. That's always been the strength of my career."

When Don Jackson was thinking about joining Volkswagen four years ago -- later playing a key role in starting up the automaker's first U.S. plant in decades -- he decided to first drive a VW.

"I'd never benchmarked a VW," said Jackson, who was then a top official at Toyota's San Antonio, Texas, production plant.