To attract and retain healthy and happy employees, Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing has moved boldly where few industrial manufacturers have ventured.

The company on Wednesday welcomed executives and company associates to its newly opened T+Rex Recreational Complex, a fitness complex with a health care component built specifically to provide state-of-the-art exercise and recreational opportunities on the Toyota campus south of Columbus in the Woodside Industrial Park.

Before Wednesday’s ceremonies and open house, Tony Miller, senior vice president for Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, mentioned he played some basketball at the center at 4:30 a.m. that day with some other Toyota executives and a few associates he had not become acquainted with yet.

In fact, at any time at the new facility, an employee might find himself or herself working out next to Toyota Material Handling North America President and CEO Brett Wood, who was emcee for the opening of the facility, or Takafumi “Alex” Zensho, TIEM president and chief executive officer.

Miller said the 4:30 a.m. basketball games that are already becoming commonplace aren’t about keeping score. It’s more about having a lot of fun. The facility has regular operating hours with staff for employees, but is also open 24/7 with access by employee ID badge.

“We’ve had a lot of positive comments about the building so far,” Miller said.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.