Toyota Alabama welcomes Madison City students to plant, inspire options after graduation

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The world is at students' fingertips after high school, regardless if they attend college. On Wednesday, Toyota Alabama welcomed in some local high schoolers to show them some post-graduation options.

Bob Jones and James Clemens High School students like AJ Buchanan did not have a normal day on Wednesday. Then again, Buchanan isn't your average student.

"I started teaching myself how to weld," Buchanan said of his recent accomplishments. He plans to attend a technical school following graduation.

Buchanan and his hands-on learning peers spent the time at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama. It meant a morning full of activity and exploring.

"We have robots out there, we have engineering careers, we have maintenance technician careers, we have our team members that actually assemble the engines," David Fernandes, Toyota Alabama President, said of what the students would see when they toured the facility.

Around 500 students who graduate from Madison City Schools each year choose not to attend college. They still have options.

"Jobs today take tremendous skill, not just physical dexterity but also tremendous skills with knowledge of computers, with advanced manufacturing like we're looking at today," Superintendent Robby Parker said.

The students watched Toyota give back to our community. A $90,000 check from Toyota Alabama is now in the hands of Huntsville STEAM Works to build a new mobile fabrication lab.

"A vehicle that contains all the cutting edge technology, like 3D printers and laser cutters. To take out to schools and other events there to show people what it's all about, and even let them have some hands on time," founder Mike Murdock said.

Toyota Alabama has donated $8,000,000 to local non profits since 2003. The organization donated $800,000 locally in 2016.