The Toyota USA Foundation announced today a $2 million investment in Guilford and Randolph County Schools.

The funds will go toward preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The investment is part of Toyota’s Driving Possibilities initiative, which focuses on addressing barriers to success in education for PreK-12 students. That involves providing family support, after school programming, and mentorship, along with hands-on learning opportunities for students in STEM subjects. 

Toyota North Carolina President Sean Suggs spoke about the program at a press conference.

“We are here to break down barriers and open doors to the future of all of the students that are here in front of us today, with collaborative effort from our educators, our community and not-for-profits," Suggs said. "We feel like this is going to be an outstanding program for all.”

He says the goal is to close educational gaps and prepare Guilford and Randolph County students for careers of the future, including jobs at the Toyota battery manufacturing plant coming to Liberty by 2025. 

Guilford County Schools Superintendent Whitney Oakley says the program will allow students in the district to begin working toward Advanced Manufacturing credentials as early as middle school. 

“When our students thrive, we all thrive," Oakley said. "Growing a STEM-ready workforce locally will help boost our economy and ensure that Toyota and many other businesses have a pipeline of qualified workers here in the Piedmont Triad for the foreseeable future.”

North Carolina is the seventh site in the country to launch the Driving Possibilities programming.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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