Toyota West Virginia Pledges $1 Million to Prepare Students for High-Demand Jobs
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. (August 19, 2014) – Last spring, Dr. Jo Harris had a hunch.
As president of the newly formed BridgeValley Community and Technical College, she oversaw the merger of Bridgemont and Kanawha Valley Colleges, building on the strengths of both institutions. Dr. Harris’ hunch: that when good ideas are shared among the two colleges, that great things can happen.
Today, her hunch became a reality.
At a ceremony this afternoon to mark the official opening of BridgeValley’s new Advanced Technology Center (ATC), Toyota West Virginia pledged $1 million over five years to further enhance the center’s technology and training equipment. In addition to its in-kind donation of used equipment, Toyota West Virginia’s total donation tops $1.2 million.
The announcement was made by West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
“West Virginia and Toyota continue to have an outstanding partnership that benefits both our state’s workforce and our students,” Gov. Tomblin said. “We sincerely appreciate Toyota’s continued investment in West Virginia, through the company’s expanding manufacturing operations and strong commitment to training our students and future workforce. This generous donation will help us continue to train workers for the 21st century jobs we are creating in our state.”
The ATC prepares technicians for high-demand, high-tech jobs and blends experienced faculty, dynamic curriculum, responsiveness and the latest technologies to provide science and engineering proficient technicians for a variety of economic sectors, including automotive.
Toyota and BridgeValley are already partners in the two-year Advanced Manufacturing Technician degree program, a curriculum designed by Toyota to deliver education and experience to students in multiple areas needed by manufacturers.
"Students who receive their degree in advanced manufacturing are extremely sought after by employers, not only by Toyota but by most manufacturers across the country," said Millie Marshall, president of Toyota's West Virginia’s facility, located in Buffalo. "According to an October 2011 study conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, American manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 multi-skilled, well-paying jobs. Students graduating from BridgeValley will be better equipped to meet those employers' needs through our collaborative efforts."
Toyota West Virginia employs 1,300 and assembles four-cylinder and V6 engines and 6-speed automatic transmissions for nine of 12 North American-produced vehicles. Cumulative investment at the plant is $1.3 billion and annual capacity is more than 650,000 engines and more than 520,000 automatic transmissions.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
Sandy Maynard 304.633.2054
Victor Vanov 859.801.2592