AL. com: Toyota donating $6.7 million to Huntsville schools
Toyota USA is donating up to $6.7 million to Huntsville City Schools with the goal of boosting the industrial workforce through STEM education programs as well as providing career support for young classroom teachers.
It’s part of a national educational Driving Possibilities program by Toyota in areas where its plants are located. The announcement Thursday took place at Jemison High School – just four miles south of Toyota Motor Manufacturing’s sprawling facility in north Huntsville where as many as 900,000 engines are produced annually.
“It’s a unique program in that we are not necessarily going wide with our funding and doing things district wide,” said Bekah Schmidt, a corporate communications analyst for Toyota. “We’re going very deep in a few schools and kind of getting to the root of how can we best serve the students and make an impact. And so we have been working on this project for over a year and working with Huntsville City Schools to identify some opportunities where we could have collective impact.”
Specifically, the funding will help support a new industrial tech program at the planned Career Tech Center to be built in north Huntsville on the same campus as a new central office for the school system off Memorial Parkway between Sparkman Drive and Max Luther Drive.
“Toyota understands the importance of training and preparing our students to fill high-tech, 21st Century jobs by the time they graduate,” Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said in a press release announcing the donation. “Alabama consistently ranks among the nation’s leaders in economic development and industrial recruitment, and thanks to generous corporate partners like Toyota, we have the tools necessary to maintain that top ranking for many years to come.”
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