In case you missed the news from early in February Toyota has announced that they are moving production of the company’s mid-size Highlander SUV from Japan to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana’s facility in Princeton, Indiana. The move will create about 400 new manufacturing jobs.
Toyota plans to produce several different export versions of the Highlander at the Indiana facility, and those export markets in include Russia and Australia. This just goes to show how important exports are for manufacturing in the U.S. The free trade agreement with South Korea will go in effect in on March 15th which will lower the barriers for Toyota to export to South Korea. Also, this illustrates how important it is for Congress to pass Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia to lower the barriers for manufacturers in the U.S. to that growing market.
Toyota officials are looking forward to the expansion and increasing the production of the Indiana facility, “We are very excited about the expansion,” said Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana President Norm Bafunno on a recent visit to the NAM.
It’s also important to highlight the work Toyota is doing with local universities and schools to help educate students and the local workforce on the career opportunities in manufacturing. The company has partnered with Vincennes University on programs to help students develop the necessary skills for jobs in manufacturing today.
Many companies are facing the challenge to find the skilled workers to fill open jobs. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana sees this need and is taking the steps to help address the problem. “We have to educate folks on the career opportunities,” said Bufunno.
And then today Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia announced they will be making a large investment at their plant in Buffalo, West Virginia to expand production of automatic transmissions. This move is expected to create 100 new manufacturing jobs in West Virginia. Another positive development for manufacturing in the U.S. and why we need to continue to work hard to keep manufacturing competitive.
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