HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Toyota Motor Manufacturing is helping Tennessee Valley students accelerate their educations. Thursday, the Huntsville company announced its donation of 45 V-6 engines to seven schools in six north Alabama counties.
"These are very high-tech engines built in a high-tech plant," said President Jim Bolte. "I think, the more we can get students interested in advanced manufacturing and some of the new technologies that are coming out, in terms of emissions and fuel economy and different things, they're going to love it. They're going to be ready to land a job somewhere."
Most schools' automotive programs use donated engines as part of the students' training.
"They would bring us their vehicles and we would just perform light maintenance on them," said Tanner sophomore Leslie Pitts.
Morgan County Schools Superintendent Bill Hopkins pointed out, though, that the donated engines are often outdated, especially when compared to Toyota's contribution.
"These are going to be engines that are used today," he said. "They're going to be engines that these students can learn on, they can tear apart, investigate with and then put back together. Then graduate, show up at Toyota and say I have experience working on this very engine."
And that's the hope for both the school systems and Toyota. They want to foster an interest in this career readiness program.
"There's new technology every day coming into the automotive industry and I would just really like to learn some of that," said Pitts. "And it's all going that way, so I would like to learn some of it now to get me a little bit ahead of the game."