Toyota USA Foundation, Project Lead The Way Award $100,000 in Grants to Prepare Tennessee Students for High-Demand Jobs

JACKSON, Tenn.  (June 15, 2018) – A program designed to prepare students and put them on a pathway to thriving careers will soon debut at five Jackson-Madison County middle schools.
The program is part of a national effort by Toyota USA Foundation, together with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), to inspire and prepare students for next-generation jobs. Grants totaling $100,000 were awarded to create access to PLTW’s hands-on learning experiences and tackling current challenges like designing tires for a moon rover, cleaning up an oil spill or exploring robotics.
“Middle school is a crucial transitional time for youth to gain confidence in science, technology engineering and math subjects,” said Bob Lloyd, Toyota Bodine plant president, during the grant announcement at the Toyota Bodine plant in Jackson, Tennessee.
“Our aim is to join existing efforts to create a comprehensive STEM pathway that leads to quality jobs,” Lloyd added.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are one of the fastest growing occupation clusters in the South, with projected employment of 2.6 million workers by 2020. However, many STEM jobs are being left unfilled, according to a recent report by the Tennessee Division of College Career & Technical Education.  
“The PLTW program will build on our efforts to offer students additional options and opportunities for their futures,” said Dr. Eric Jones, superintendent of the Jackson-Madison County school system. “Introducing new STEM-based learning in our middle schools will allow for even greater academic success as these students enter high school.”

PLTW programs help empower teachers and students, providing skills, resources and teacher development. The PLTW Gateway program will be implemented in fall 2018 at North Parkway Middle School which will use the grant to purchase additional instructional materials and to fund an in-depth teacher training.
“Our students will be afforded advanced hands-on science, engineering design and mathematical authentic-based instruction,” said Tiffany Taylor, North Parkway School principal. “PLTW will allow us to provide challenging instruction that requires our students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.”
Schools receiving grants include:

  • North Parkway Middle School
  • Northeast Middle School
  • Jackson Careers and Technology Middle School
  • West Bemis Middle School
  • Rose Hill School

About Project Lead The Way (PLTW)
PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for PreK-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 10,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit
About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 36 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 47,000 people (more than 37,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 – and about 87 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.  
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

Leah Almeling
(636) 448-8858
[email protected]
Jackson-Madison County School District:
Keli McAlister
(731) 506-2501
[email protected]
Jennifer Erbacher
(317) 669-0871
[email protected]


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Bob Lloyd and Dr Eric Jones

Bob Lloyd, Toyota Bodine, President and Dr. Eric Jones, superintendent of the Jackson-Madison County School System, announced a $100,000 donation from the Toyota USA Foundation and Project Lead The Way to Tennessee schools on June 14, 2018.


Representatives from Project Lead The Way, the Toyota USA Foundation and Jackson-Madison County School System toured the Toyota Bodine plant in Jackson, Tennessee.


Teachers from Jackson-Madison County School System learned how Project Lead The Way will prepare students for next-generation jobs while touring the Toyota Bodine plant in Jackson, Tennessee.

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