Four hundred fifty new jobs are coming to Huntsville’s Toyota plant.
It’s the biggest hiring need in the plant’s history and an almost $300 million investment. Leaders at the announcement say that’s an investment in not just Toyota but in entire the community.
New production lines at the plant will allow them to make new 4-cylinder and V6 engines, increasing their production capacity by about 35 percent. It’ll be the only Toyota plant in the world to make these engines and the V8 under one roof.
“The jobs to me is the most important part,” said Toyota Alabama President David Fernandes. “When I see our team members who really make this thing go, when I see them come to work everyday and they’re producing the best quality engines in the safest manner, I think that’s what’s most exciting to me.”
Toyota is donating $500,000 toward local family literacy programs. Toyota officials say they’re investing in the future and as for the 450 jobs, that future workforce is ready.
“Actually come inside the plant and actually see all the work that is going on, it’s mind blowing,” said Dante Thomas, a student and worker with Calhoun Community College’s FAME program. “You actually get to learn hands-on and then going to your job you have a mentor and they’ll teach you everything in the real-world presence.”
The Madison County Commission chairman says this announcement adds to the growing number of more than 30,000 new jobs overall for the area in less than a decade.
“I had the pleasure 18 years ago to meet Dr. Toyoda,” explained Commission Chairman Dale Strong. “I can remember through an interpreter he said, ‘something great is going to happen here.’ And that’s what we’ve truly seen.”
Hiring is expected to start right away. The Toyota plant will now have 1800 employees. Just last August they built their 6 millionth engine.