On the Road with Vince

(May 28, 2014) Last week, Vince traveled to Porterville, California, to deliver the 2014 commencement address to Harmony Magnet Academy’s 125 graduating seniors and their families and teachers. Vince congratulated students on the tremendous amount of hard work and dedication they had invested into achieving their diploma. As his speech concluded, he encouraged the students to create a life of significance, leading by example no matter their role or position.

“Each of you has a story to tell,” he told the graduates. “You can write your story any way you choose. But remember, you can only write it once.”

All 125 graduates report that they will attend college, university, or enlist in the Army this fall. Read more about the graduation and Vince’s remarks online at the Porterville Recorder.

***

Also last week, PLTW Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Dr. Rex Bolinger traveled to Georgetown, Kentucky, home of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing and the North American Production Support Center. Rex provided the keynote address at Toyota’s inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) Program National Conference.

The AMT program prepares high school graduates for in-demand manufacturing careers, offering them a unique opportunity to earn a salary with Toyota while working toward an associate degree. In 2011, Toyota began recruiting PLTW students for the AMT program, finding that PLTW students entered the program with advanced knowledge and skills that made them more likely to excel and persist through the program. AMT students attend class two days per week and gain invaluable training and paid work experience at Toyota’s plants three days per week. Upon completion, Toyota may choose to hire students full-time, or the students may choose to return to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field or seek employment with another high-tech manufacturer. The AMT program is now in place at seven North American Toyota facilities.

The AMT National Conference served as an opportunity for attendees to experience the AMT program in action, with presentations by plant managers and AMT students from each of the seven Toyota assembly plants. More than 160 people attended, including Toyota leaders and individuals from the manufacturing, business and education sectors who are interested in adopting the Toyota AMT model. Dennis Parker, Toyota AMT regional leader, and Jeff Moore, Toyota North American vice-president for unit plants, lauded PLTW as a critical foundational partner.

“Toyota’s endorsement of PLTW is a significant validation of our programs and our ability to scale nationally,” says Rex. “They are sending a strong signal that Toyota supports what works!”