School district and Toyota manufacturing plant team up for new job training program

School district and Toyota manufacturing plant team up for new job training program
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Kanawha County students will soon have the chance to join a program unlike any other in West Virginia.

At the start of the next school year, juniors and seniors in the county can take part in a two-year manufacturing program in partnership with the Toyota Motor Plant in Buffalo, West Virginia.

“With this program, it is allowing us to jump over that hoop and giving our students that opportunity to get hired in full-time with a good income, good benefits,” said Nicole McCartney, assistant principal at the Ben Franklin Career Center.

While a first in West Virginia, this isn’t a new program.

Toyota Plant Spokesperson George Gannon said it was first tried in Indiana.

“It worked so well there to bring kids from the school system into the manufacturing plants and sort of learn more about the broader educational options that are available with advanced manufacturing. We wanted to do something similar in West Virginia,” Gannon said.

There are eight high schools in Kanawha County. McCartney said they went to every single one to talk about this program.

She added it’s important for students to know they can live in West Virginia and make a good living.

“We need to let our kids know what opportunities are here for them to work,” she said. There’s good-paying jobs here in our state that can keep them here and raise their family.”

Gannon says the first class will be around 20 students, but that may change as the year goes on.

In a couple of weeks, students will have the chance to tour the plant. After that, the application process will open.

Those interested should reach out to their school counselor.

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