Innovation is fueled by the people behind the process. That’s why Toyota has developed and partnered with several workforce programs to help ensure that future employees are set up for success, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
Getting a Jump Start
To get the next generation excited and prepared for careers in advanced manufacturing and other fields, starting early is key.
As the original founder, Toyota continues to partner with the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), a collaborative of employers who work collectively to participate in and support advanced manufacturing career pathways. This includes the college-side experience of the Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program, which is designed as an innovative manufacturing degree spanning five semesters of classroom instruction and providing hands-on experience at Toyota facilities across the U.S.
Toyota also launched its 4T Academy — a national high school pathway program designed to provide high school juniors and seniors with an innovative education experience pairing hands-on learning with on-the-job training at Toyota.
“The 4T program at Toyota Indiana has benefited so many students throughout southwest Indiana,” says Jon Adams, the principal at Gibson Southern High School. “The real-world experience our students have been fortunate to receive are world-class and will better prepare them for a successful future. We are excited about our partnership with Toyota Indiana and look forward to continuing the 4T program for many years.”
Gibson High School student Katrina Shipley shares a similar sentiment. “I learned about the 4T program through some friends, and I thought it was a great opportunity to become an engineer.”
It’s been beneficial for Trey Lancaster, who also attends the school. “Some of my favorite experiences are probably being able to socialize with certain people, and being able to learn about electricity and the way that Toyota is run.”
Post high school is also a prime time to get young adults interested in manufacturing. The AMT program blends classroom instruction with hands-on experience at Toyota. What’s more, students will earn a two-year degree in advanced manufacturing automation technology. AMT combines a cutting-edge curriculum and paid work experience with a global manufacturing leader.
“I have enjoyed each day here at Toyota Mississippi,” said Que Chandler, a second-year AMT student. “It has been a wonderful place to work and has allowed me the opportunity to learn more about the industrial maintenance field, troubleshooting, communication, and expressing my ideas.”
He added, “Working at Toyota Mississippi has been a life-altering experience. The AMT program is a fantastic job opportunity giving future maintenance technicians hands-on, real-world experience.”
Driving Local Partnerships
Toyota founded the early iterations of the AMT program in 2005, and many other businesses and organizations have since partnered with schools to adapt the curriculum.
While AMT is a national workforce program, Toyota also works with other educational organizations in local communities near its manufacturing facilities.
Toyota Mississippi recently partnered with Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid South–a national nonprofit dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship, work-readiness, and financial literacy–to host a career speaker series on-site. During this 3-day event, more than 400 local 9th-grade-students heard from various Toyota employees about a variety of careers available at the auto-manufacturing facility. Students gained insight into career paths available at Toyota and were able to tour the 2-million square foot facility to witness first-hand the production of the Toyota Corolla.
“Great learning for children happens in partnership with our community,” said Leigh Mansberg, president of Junior Achievement of Memphis, and the Mid-South. “We are so excited to have the team from Toyota Mississippi sharing their experiences with the students of the region. Children can’t become what they can’t see, and our partnership with Toyota makes bright futures possible for every child.”
Toyota West Virginia
The future depends on bright, skilled technicians who will continue to drive innovation and mobility forward. Toyota is doing its part to ensure all workers of tomorrow are excited and career ready.
To help lead the charge while also celebrating Manufacturing Month, Toyota West Virginia held its first Women Exploring Toyota career event.
The event was developed to help women from Putnam County and across the region learn about the various employment opportunities at the plant. The evening featured hands-on demonstrations, meet-and-greets with leaders in various plant departments, and information about the wide range of jobs available in advanced manufacturing.
Attendees participated in skills challenges, played a game of putt-putt with a golf-playing robot, learned about the plant’s business partnering groups, and took guided walks through the plant.
“At our plant and across Toyota, respect for people is key to what we do and we are stronger when we welcome diverse views and new ideas,” said David Rosier, Toyota West Virginia president. “Advanced manufacturing is bright, fast-paced and a place where motivated people can truly build a career. This event allowed us to showcase the amazing opportunities at our plant and it was an honor to welcome so many for the evening.”
Originally published October 31, 2023