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The buzzword in education has been STEM for quite a while. It stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, and Toyota is investing in schools to cover this subject matter. This will help the communities where Toyota factories are located, and it may eventually help the company maintain a selection of quality employees in the future. In a way, this makes Toyota’s investment in the community also an investment in the future of the automobile company. 

It is no surprise that the announcement of Toyota’s STEM investment also comes during the time that the company starts producing the Grand Highlander. This vehicle was engineered by the type of innovators Toyota hopes to create through STEM education funding. 

Toyota invests in its future with STEM education

According to the Toyota Newsroom, schools in Indiana and Alabama are benefitting from Toyota’s multi-million dollar investment in STEM education at local PreK-12 schools. The programs are intended to make students aware of the opportunities in STEM careers and to build sustainable programs where members of the Toyota team work. 

Huntsville, Alabama city schools will receive grants of up to $6.7 million over a 5-year rollout of investments in STEM programs. Students will be coached, trained, and mentored about STEM subjects. Indiana schools may receive grants of up to $11.1 million. The programs involve educators and community members to get involved in a collaborative effort to provide STEM education. 

The Indiana announcement occurred on the same day Toyota started production of their 2024 Grand Highlander, Toyota’s new 3-row SUV. This is a response to the increasing demand for family SUVs that can hold families that want to travel with more than two children, or adults.

The Toyota Newsroom reported that the company is devoted to looking toward the future with the community and Grand Highlander investment. This multi-part investment shows how supporting the community is directly linked to Toyota’s success. 

Driving Possibilities framework

Driving Possibilities is the name of the framework Toyota is using to drive its investment in community education. It aims to prepare workforces of the future for technological careers that can lead to a success. The company also strives to reduce barriers to technology in education. 

The framework for Driving Possibilities does not solely invest in education. It is a holistic community service approach that also focuses on food insecurity and mobility services. Toyota partners with teachers, business, local governments, and non-profits to coordinate services to all community members who have needs. 

What is the Toyota USA Foundation?

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The Toyota USA Foundation is the philanthropic side of the company. They give grants to communities in need, which may include urban communities or communities that need emergency relief. 

The Toyota USA Foundation was established in 1987 and is classified as a $100 million charitable endowment, which means it is funded solely for the philanthropic goals of the organization, and funds are restricted for those purposes. Driving Possibilities is a part of the foundation’s purpose, and it ensures that children get access to the education they need to enter STEM careers. 

The Grand Highlander debut is in line with the goals of enhancing community, and the SUV provides plenty of space for families with children who can make memories together while traveling in a roomy vehicle made to comfortably seat 7. The technology available in the Grand Highlander was only made available through innovation, which came from people with access to innovative STEM education. 

The Driving Possibilities educational grants are just one more way that Toyota supports its workers and the community members where its factories are located.