Toyota encourages young women in Huntsville to pursue manufacturing

The Huntsville plant hosted an event for girls to learn about manufacturing.

Posted: Oct 24, 2019 4:50 PM
Updated: Oct 24, 2019 6:35 PM

Toyota wants more women in manufacturing. The company invited a group of high school seniors to spend the day at the plant. 

Chyna Ross was one of those seniors. She said when she heard about Toyota's "Girls Learning About Manufacturing" day, she knew it was an opportunity she could not pass up. 

"I've always wanted to do mechanical engineering," Ross said. "When I say that, some people may think, oh, she's a girl, why would she want to do that?"

However, Ross ignores the negativity. She knows she can reach her goals.

"There's nothing that can stop me. There's nothing that a man can do that I can't," Ross said. "I wanna be an advocate for more women."

The "GLAM" day is focused on teaching these young women about career opportunities within manufacturing and Toyota. It comes as the unemployment rate in Alabama is at a record low and the skilled labor workforce is dwindling. 

Companies like Toyota are struggling to fill skilled trade jobs.

"You can have a great career without ever going to college, by pursuing a maintenance technician field or a production team member role," the general manager of administration, April Mason, said. 

A big part of the event was a tour of the factory to show the girls the women hard at work representing the company.

"It's 22% females in this environment, and it's really important that we help each other out," Mason said.

After learning more about what manufacturing has to offer, some students like De'Bria Pinchon said they could really see themselves pursuing a career in manufacturing. 

"It's very shocking to see the numbers so low, but also exciting, because one day, I want to be a part of that 20%," Pinchon said. "Hopefully, along the years, the numbers will increase."

Right now, the plant in Huntsville employs 1,400 people. It is in the process of expanding and will add 400 new team members. 

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