LIBERTY – Toyota is coming to Randolph County, North Carolina, with plans to add at least 2,100 workers to fill roles at the planned electric battery manufacturing plant.

And preparing the region’s current and future workforce is important to the company, an executive said at an event this weekend.

At an event on Saturday, the company announced it had made two grants of $500,000 to increase student access to STEAM education in the Triad region of North Carolina, along with releasing renderings of the company’s facility in Liberty.

Why make those grants?

“We have 2,100 jobs to fill in North Carolina, so better preparing our next generation workforce is critical,” said Sean Suggs, Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC) president, in a statement.  “Toyota is committed to providing resources, time and knowledge to help build stronger communities in which we operate.”

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Investing in community

According to the company, Toyota will invest $500,000 in Communities in Schools of Randolph County, as well as provide a grant to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, NC A&T.

“This gift will enable us to serve more youth in our community with wrap-around services in partnership with our local school systems and equip us to launch a new program, Jobs For North Carolina Graduates, providing specialized instruction and experiences to support increased graduation rates and employability for our students,” said Paula Owens, the executive director of Communities in Schools of Randolph County in a statement.

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Investing in education

The grant to NC A&T will establish the “Toyota STEAM Lab” within the College of Education.  According to the company’s statement, the lab will provide opportunities for students to practice teaching with modern technology used in classrooms from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

According to a spokesperson, Toyota directly employs more than 39,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 32 million cars and trucks at the company’s existing nine manufacturing plants.

The plant in Liberty will be the company’s 10th, and is expected to be operational by 2025, according to the company.

Toyota announced the project in December 2021, but then committed an additional $2.5 billion in August.

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