Toyota donates to the future of Shoals automotive students

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – For gearheads, Thursday morning was like Christmas in northwest Alabama. Automotive labs at several schools received gifts from the Toyota engine plant in Huntsville.

The automotive lab at Muscle Shoals Career Academy exposes students to a little bit of everything. Half a dozen vehicles sit around the shop at various stages of repair.

“Doing this in high school, it gets you more ready. If you are going into a job, you have already got the skills to do it. You have the certifications,” explained Daniel Burleson.

While some interests may lie in painting, others are focused on engine repair and mechanics. For those, a delivery driver from Toyota dropped off a truckload of goodies; brand new engines straight off the assembly line.

“You are way ahead of the game as far as getting the latest training and methodology of manufacturing and repair,” stated Muscle Shoals Automotive Instructor Jimmy Charuhas.

Toyota manufacturing donated 11 engines to five career academies across the Shoals. Charuhas says the students will take the engine and learn about its design through disassembly and assembly. An engine this new gives his students a clear advantage when joining the workforce.

“Any time they get their hands on any of the components or learn anything about the manufacturing process at all, it’s a big benefit to them,” said Charuhas. “It puts their job application at the top of the stack.”

And the students are ready to dive in to see what the engine holds for their futures. The donation of Toyota engines developed through a partnership with the Shoals Economic Development Authority.

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