The grant funds will be used to support nearly 40 years of surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  -  Photo: Toyota

The grant funds will be used to support nearly 40 years of surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Photo: Toyota

Toyota announced it is boosting workforce readiness and exposure to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) education in the North Carolina Triad with donations totaling $1 million to expand education opportunities for students, according to the company's news release.

Communities in Schools of Randolph County (CiSRC) and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) will each receive $500,000 to help strengthen STEAM education programs that support career readiness.

“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. “Toyota is committed to providing resources, time, and knowledge to help build stronger communities in which we operate. We’re grateful for our education partners that share the same passion.”

Toyota said the grant funds will be used to support nearly 40 years of surrounding students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Through a variety of programs, including the launch of Jobs for America’s Graduates, students will receive a range of services including but not limited to weekend meals, academic tutoring, financial literacy, and mentoring, according to the news release.

“It is difficult to adequately put into words the magnitude of this gift to Communities in Schools of Randolph County,” said Paula Owens, CiSRC executive director. “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.”

The start-up grant will establish the Toyota STEAM Lab in the College of Education on the NC A&T campus, according to Toyota. The lab will be designed for K-12 learners and provide NC A&T Elementary and Secondary Education majors space to practice teaching with devices and technologies designed for K-12 student use. It will also provide collaborative mentorship opportunities and projects between NC A&T students from all majors, Aggie Academy elementary-aged students, and the high school students located on campus.

“We are grateful that our friends at Toyota understand that the key to meeting the challenges of the STEAM workforce of the future is to invest in rich STEAM educational opportunities for students today,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. “Today’s announcement is great news for the students and faculty of our Aggie Academy lab school, STEM Early College and the A&T Four Middle College. It is also a further illustration of what a great corporate citizen Toyota has become in the state of North Carolina. We deeply appreciate their leadership.”

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