Toyota Motor Corporation CEO, Akio Toyoda, recently penned an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, highlighting Toyota’s growing investments in the U.S. In particular, Toyoda discusses the company’s workforce development program, Driving Possibilities, and how it will soon expand to the 15 U.S. communities where Toyota has operations. Driving Possibilities will seek to address educational disparities and give students the ticket to good-paying, high-growth career opportunities.
Read an excerpt from Toyoda’s piece below:
"The rapid pace of innovation requires a collective effort to create pathways to high-tech, high-growth jobs of the future. From self-driving cars and electric vehicles, to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the world of the future will be different than today, requiring a different education system.
This issue affects not just Toyota, but all automakers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 860,000 manufacturing job openings in the U.S. in January, compared with 519,000 a year earlier. The number of unfilled manufacturing jobs could reach 2.1 million by 2030, according to Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.
My grandfather, Kiichiro, who founded Toyota Motor Corporation, also felt strongly about the importance of a good education and training. In 1938, Toyota set up a technical school and began working to develop talent, as well as cars. This philosophy continues today.
Since 1991, we have supported family literacy programs, and provided assistance for STEM education. In West Dallas, Toyota created a PreK-8 science and technology education program with local educators, nonprofits and social-service organizations. Our partners are the Dallas Independent School District, Southern Methodist University and the broader West Dallas community.
This STEM school provides new literacy, reading and writing programs, and even goes beyond the classroom. Our partners coordinate social services needed by students and families, with after-school programs, mentoring, a community center and food pantry."
Read the full opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News.