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Toyota invests $6.7M in Huntsville City Schools

The Huntsville school system is the recipient of a $6.7 million grant from the Toyota USA Foundation.

It was announced Thursday at a press conference that the grant will be going toward educating students in the Rocket City and, in turn, growing the workforce in Alabama, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)-related fields. The partnership between Huntsville City Schools and Toyota is part of the automaker’s new Driving Possibilities initiative.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth called Toyota an “outstanding corporate citizen” and thanked them for the grant.

“Toyota has it figured out. They see students as their future employees,” he said. “I tell people all the time workforce development is about how do we got our 55,000 high school students a year, graduate ready for the world.

“Thank you for your investment.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle emphasized the impact the program can have on thousands.

“It is truly a partnership to put this all together. It puts it together for these two rows of students right here,” he said. “We impact 2,300 students yearly out of 54,000 in the state, 4% of the state’s young students who are being educated right here in the city of Huntsville’s school system.

“It’s not something to be taken lightly because it’s something that says ‘this is our future’.”

Jason Puckett, president of Toyota Alabama, discussed the company’s goal in providing the opportunity for students.

“The Driving Possibilities framework provides a holistic approach to addressing gaps in education.” he said. “Our mission is to collaborate with local schools community partners and other businesses, to help students reach their full potential.

“The success of our students will determine the future of our community.”

Huntsville is the fifth site to launch Driving Possibilities programming, which is based on more than 60 years of active support in Toyota communities across the U.S. and builds off the successful model in Dallas, Texas.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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