The school district and the Toyota plant team up for a new job training program

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Kanawha County students will soon have the opportunity to participate in a program unparalleled in West Virginia.

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

“This program allows us to think outside the box and give our students the opportunity to be hired full-time with a good salary and benefits,” said Nicole McCartney, associate principal at the Ben Franklin Career Center.

While this is a West Virginia first, it is not a new program.

Toyota plant spokesman George Gannon said it was first tried in Indiana.

“It worked so well there to bring kids from the school system into the manufacturing facilities and learn about the broader educational options 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 each individual to talk about this program.

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

“We need to let our children know what opportunities there are for them to work,” she said. There are good paying jobs here in our state that can keep them here and raise their families.”

Gannon says the first grade will have around 20 students, but that is subject to change throughout the year.

In a few weeks, students will have the opportunity to visit the work. The application process then opens.

If you are interested, please contact your school counselor.

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