Gibson County Residents React To Toyota Expansion

Published 08/22 2014 09:26PM

Updated 08/22 2014 10:16PM

Toyota in Gibson County announces a $100 million dollar expansion.

Hiring is scheduled to begin next year, but it already has people excited.

Car sales are picking up steam, and Toyota leaders say they're trying to keep up with demand.

People in the county say, when it comes to hiring, the automaker won't have to look far.

One of the largest employers in the tristate is getting bigger.

"I think it's great for the community," says Michael Tenbarge.

The Toyota plant in Princeton is adding 300 jobs.

More than 4,000 people currently work there.

It's big news, directly affecting those living right around the corner, like Rick Meyer. He says his two daughter work there.

"I'm very proud to hear that they are hiring," says Meyer.

The announcement is part of a $100 million dollar expansion plan to help keep up with the demand for more Highlanders.

The plant will also grow by 70,000 square feet.

"A lot of kids out here still need work, and people that need good jobs. That's a benefit to everybody," says Meyer.

Meyer says, since coming to town in 1996, the plant has made a positive impact on the surrounding communities.

"A lot better roads around this area than what we had, and a lot more places to eat. I think it's been a good investment for Indiana to have them here. I'm glad we have them," says Meyer.

Many can remember a time before Toyota came to town.

"There was a lot less traffic, and a lot less jobs," says Meyer.

"It was kind of dead around here," says Tenbarge.

Toyota hopes the expansion will benefit suppliers and other local business in the region.

2013 was a great year for the Highlander.

More than 127,000 models were sold - that's the most in six years.

Some changes were made earlier this year when the third generation Highlander started driving off dealership lots.

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