(WGHP) — Toyota is making a significant $1 million investment in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education in the Piedmont Triad.

The investment comes in two halves, with $500,000 going to Communities in Schools of Randolph County and the other $500,000 going to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

The donations are intended to help strengthen STEAM education programs that support career readiness in the Piedmont Triad.

“We have 2,100 jobs to fill in North Carolina, so better preparing our next generation workforce is critical. 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.”

Sean Suggs, Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina (TBMNC) president.

In Randolph County, the funds will be used to support nearly four decades worth of surrounding students by empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life through a variety of programs.

Among the things that will be able to be offered by these programs are weekend meals, academic tutoring, financial literacy and mentoring.

“It is difficult to adequately put into words the magnitude of this gift to Communities in Schools of Randolph County. 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.”

Paula Owens, Communities in Schools of Randolph County executive director.

As for NC A&T, the funds will be used to create the Toyota STEAM Lab in the College of Education on A&T’s campus. The lab will be used by K-12 students and provide A&T’s Elementary and Secondary Education majors a place to gain experience teaching with equipment designed for K-12 students.

The lab will also be used collaboratively by students of all majors at A&T, Aggie Academy elementary-aged students and high school students.

“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. 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.”

NC A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr.

This is just the latest investment in the Piedmont Triad made by Toyota as Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina was recently established in November 2021. A $2.5 billion investment was made into the plant which plans to begin production in 2025 and expects to create 2,100 direct jobs.

Toyota included the following statement in its press release for anyone seeking employment at the new facility:

“TBMNC is currently seeking motivated individuals to join its leadership team. To view and apply for open

positions, please visit www.toyota.com/careers. Production and maintenance employee positions will be

announced in January 2023.”