Toyota announces $500K in grants to VU, OCU

Toyota announces $500K in grants to VU, OCU
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:26 AM CST
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PRINCETON, Ind. (WFIE) - Toyota Indiana is donating $500,000 in grants to two area colleges in celebration of National STEM/STEAM Day.

TMMI says they are committed to supporting programs for students and adults to explore science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

“We believe STEM education is the way to the future,” said Leah Curry, president, TMMI. “Investing in our next generation is critical to ensure a robust pipeline of skilled workers are able to work innovatively and think critically. These programs encourage all students, but especially minorities and women who are less represented in STEM fields.”

14 News was told that Oakland City University will use its $250,000 grant to implement a Creative Technologies Bachelor’s Degree Program. The program will combine studies in technology, computer science and business.

“Oakland City University thanks Toyota Indiana for its significant contribution to our Creative Technologies program,” said OCU President, Dr. Ron Dempsey. “Students can learn the process of bringing innovative ideas to market from conception to prototyping, to testing and marketing. The technological skills obtained through this degree program will not only propel our students into successful careers but also create a dynamic workforce for Southern Indiana and the Tri-State Area.”

Vincennes University will put the $250,000 grant toward two STEM programs.

Officials announced part of the grant will go to a new Women in STEM Leadership series that focuses on diversifying workforce development and supporting scholarship assistance for female, minority, and underrepresented students enrolled in a STEM major.

According to officials, the other part of the grant will go to the existing programmable logic controller lab for major upgrades and an expansion to increase student accessibility and improve instructional time for various degree programs including the Advanced Manufacturing Technician Program through Indiana FAME.

“Vincennes University is very honored and pleased to receive this generous donation from Toyota Indiana,” said VU President Chuck Johnson. “Our long-standing partnership with TMMI has produced scores of graduates and trainees who have a tremendous skill set and great career opportunities in robotics and industrial maintenance. With this donation, VU will be able to continue investing in important equipment and in programming that will help us ensure a high-quality educational experience and a diverse pipeline of talent for Toyota and other employers throughout our region and State. "

[Read: Toyota donates $400,000 to area schools for digital connectivity]

In recent months, Toyota USA Foundation funded $3.4 million to help bridge the digital divide in 13 states, including Indiana, benefitting more than 350,000 students.

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