Toyota completes $1.3 billion project, commits to $1 million workforce program

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PRINCETON, Ind. (WEHT) – Following an announcement to modernize its plant in 2017, Toyota Indiana (TMMI) announced Friday that 150 new jobs are being added and an additional $700 million is being invested to complete its $1.3 billion plan.

In total, the plan added 550 new jobs.

The $1.3 billion investment was used for retooling, installing new equipment, and on advanced manufacturing technologies in order to meet demand for the new 2020 Toyota Highlander.

The plant has the capacity to assemble more than 420,000 vehicles annually.

Toyota is also committing $1 million a new, regional workforce program designed to connect students with career opportunities in advanced manufacturing while they’re still in high school.

“This program will allow students to get a jump start on their careers while receiving hands-on training with industry experts and educators,” said Leah Curry, Toyota Indiana plant president. “By collaborating with our local schools, we are creating a workforce solution—but, more importantly—providing greater visibility to student career options and pathways in the region.”

Toyota also announced that Princeton will cease production of the Toyota Sequoia by 2022, in order to focus on the Toyota Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, and the Toyota Sienna.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-Ind.) celebrated the completion of a modernization project with Toyota executives on Friday. The project, launched in 2017, totaled more than $1 billion and created 550 jobs.

“This is the opposite of a brain drain. This is a brain gain,” said Gov. Holcomb.

The project brought in new equipment, along with technology to build the Highlander and its hybrid counterpart.

To make room for increased Highlander production, by 2022 production of the Sequoia will move to San Antonio, Texas.

Toyota executives said the decision will not result in job loss but rather create space for future vehicle production.

Team members have already started moving Sequoia equipment out of the plant.

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(This story was originally published on January 17, 2020)

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