Project Lead The Way Expands Access to Manufacturing Courses with Grant from Toyota USA Foundation

For Immediate Release

INDIANAPOLIS (September 3, 2015) – A 2014 Accenture study found that more than 75 percent of U.S. manufacturers face a moderate to severe shortage of highly skilled workers. Project Lead The Way (PLTW) will help address this issue with the support of a recently announced $1 million grant from the Toyota USA Foundation, which will give 40 high schools the opportunity to implement PLTW’s Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) course. Through the Foundation’s support of CIM, PLTW will introduce more students to modern manufacturing and career pathways, and prepare them with knowledge and skills related to the advanced manufacturing sector.

PLTW’s year-long CIM course introduces students to the opportunities in a manufacturing career while teaching them about designing products for manufacturability, manufacturing processes, CNC machining, factory system modeling, automation, and robotics. Throughout the course, students also develop problem-solving, critical-thinking, collaboration, and communication skills critical for the workforce.

“Project Lead The Way is thrilled to partner with the Toyota USA Foundation, which will make a tremendous impact on the number of students who fully understand the high-tech, high-skilled nature of modern manufacturing,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vince Bertram.

The Toyota USA Foundation’s support will fund 20 new CIM courses in 2016-17 and an additional 20 courses in 2017-18 by providing schools with $25,000 grants to assist with teacher training and course equipment. PLTW will select schools through a competitive grant process that will open on October 15, 2015. Selection criteria will include schools with a strong commitment to engaging female and underrepresented minority students and the schools’ proximity to Toyota’s operations in Detroit, Michigan; Plano, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Georgetown/Lexington, Kentucky; Princeton/Evansville, Indiana; St. Louis, Missouri; Buffalo/Charleston, West Virginia; Jackson, Tennessee; Huntsville, Alabama; and Blue Springs, Mississippi.

“The Toyota USA Foundation is committed to supporting the American manufacturing sector to strengthen our economy,” said Michael Rouse, Toyota USA Foundation president. “By helping students discover their interests in manufacturing careers now, we can cultivate their talents and passions to bolster this critical field for the future.”

Toyota Motor Manufacturing has been a partner of PLTW since 2011 when the company began recruiting PLTW high school graduates to enroll in its Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) program. The two-year work/study program prepares graduates for in-demand manufacturing careers and offers them a unique opportunity to earn a salary with Toyota while working toward an associate degree through a local community college. Upon completion, students may be hired by Toyota, return to college to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field, or seek employment with another high-tech manufacturer. Today, an advanced manufacturing career pathways partnership operates in eight Toyota production facilities.

The Toyota USA Foundation has a charitable endowment of approximately $100 million and supports STEM education programs serving kindergarten through 12th grade students. For additional information about the Toyota USA Foundation, visit www.toyota.com/foundation. Over the past 20 years, Toyota and the Toyota USA Foundation have contributed nearly $700 million to nonprofits across the United States.

About PLTW
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides engaging learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across the United States. Through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an evolving world, and provides teachers with the support and resources they need to devote more time to inspiring students. PLTW programs can be found in over 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.

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Media Contact:
Jennifer Cahill
PLTW Senior Director of Media and Public Relations
(317) 669-0871
[email protected]