The Columbus community has made workforce development and education a priority for decades so that needed industry skills are taught locally.
The Community Education Coalition, for example, has been notable in its efforts to bring together local companies and educators to work together on initiatives.
It’s not surprising then when local companies take a greater investment in the community to benefit education and workforce development.
Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM), a Columbus-based forklift company, is the latest example.
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TIEM and Ivy Tech Community College unveiled the new Toyota Industrial Equipment Welding Laboratory at Ivy Tech Columbus on Sept. 25.
The Toyota Industrial Equipment Welding Laboratory is part of a $367,800 gift TIEM has donated to the college. Of the gift, Ivy Tech used $250,000 to renovate, expand and upgrade its welding lab.
It has nearly tripled in size (890 to 2,450 square feet) and gives students access to advanced equipment that aligns with industry standards. For example, the Columbus campus now has 14 new multi-faceted welding machines.
The welding lab upgrades are part of an overall $1 million investment planned at the Columbus campus within the Agriculture Industrial Technology Center building.
TIEM also provided 19 engines valued at a total of $117,800 to be distributed to the college’s campuses throughout the state.
Toyota’s significant commitment to workforce development enhances instruction for a skill set that is needed by Toyota and other local manufacturing companies.
To be sure, it’s a much-appreciated lift for the program that will increase the pool of well-trained workers.