Toyota invested $1 million for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education programs that support career readiness at North Carolina A&T State University and the nonprofit organization Communities in Schools of Randolph County, the company announced on Sept. 24. They will each receive $500,000 of the grant.
“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,” N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. stated.
N.C. A&T will use the donation to establish the Toyota STEAM Lab for its College of Education, the HBCU announced. The new laboratory will be designed for K-12 learners and provide elementary and secondary education majors a facility to practice teaching with devices and technologies designed for K-12 student use.
The grant will also provide collaborative mentorship opportunities and projects between A&T students from all majors and other campus schools.
“This 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,” Martin added. “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.”
Communities in School plans to use its share of the grant to support several of its programs, including the launch of Jobs for America’s Graduates. Students will receive a range of services that include weekend meals, academic tutoring, financial literacy and mentoring.
“We have 2,100 jobs to fill in North Carolina, so better preparing our next generation workforce is critical,” Sean Suggs, president of Toyota Battery Manufacturing, North Carolina, said, adding that the vehicle manufacturer “is committed to providing resources, time, and knowledge to help build stronger communities in which we operate.”