Florence, Ky. – The Toyota USA Foundation announced Tuesday morning its commitment to preparing teachers and students for the next generation of advanced manufacturing jobs through a $2.35 million grant to Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE).PLTW was awarded $2 million to support approximately 115 K-12 schools throughout the United States. NAPE was awarded $350,000 to create promotional tools and outreach strategies for educators to use with students and parents at the K-12 and community college levels. Both organizations will partner to increase the participation of women and people of color in advanced manufacturing education.

“Persistent workforce gaps in STEM fields can be solved by increased participation and inclusion of diverse students,” said Mike Goss, president, Toyota USA Foundation. “These investments will impact elementary, middle, high school, and community colleges across the country, and represent industry and education coming together to better prepare the nation’s youth.”

The grants were announced at the annual Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways conference, hosted by the Northern Kentucky chapter of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) in partnership with the BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) and Gateway Community and Technical College.

“This announcement comes at a time when many regions in the Midwest and South—including ours—are doubling down on workforce development efforts,” said Wade Williams, the Senior Vice President of Business Development for BE NKY. “The future of our region’s economy depends on having a skilled and competent workforce. These grants continue to put resources in place, helping all of us get to where we want to be.”


KY FAME (The Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) is a company-sponsored partnership of regional employers who share the goal of creating a pipeline of highly skilled workers.

Gateway Community and Technical College (GCTC) is Northern Kentucky’s only public, two-year comprehensive community and technical college, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACS). GCTC enrolls nearly 5,000 students and offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in 30 subject areas. Additionally, GCTC provides customized training to more than 3,000 people locally through partnerships with more than 400 local businesses. GCTC is one of the 16 colleges that comprise the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, the Commonwealth’s largest postsecondary institution with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses.

The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) serves as the primary economic development entity for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Northern Kentucky.  Since its founding in 1987, more than 620 primary industry projects have located to or expanded within Northern Kentucky, creating more than 54,000 jobs and investing more than $7.3 billion. BE NKY is part of the Kentucky Innovation Network, a group of business leaders and mentors that encourages relationships, grows companies and creates jobs.