Continuing its commitment to preparing teachers and students for the next-generation of jobs, Toyota USA Foundation awarded two grants totaling $2.35 million to Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE).
The grants, announced at the annual North American Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways Conference, aim to increase access to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs throughout the United States and boost participation and retention of women and people of color in STEM careers.
"Persistent workforce gaps in STEM fields can be solved by increased participation and inclusion of diverse students," said Mike Goss, president, Toyota USA Foundation. "These investments will impact elementary, middle, high school, and community colleges across the country, and represent industry and education coming together to better prepare the nation's youth."
PLTW was awarded $2 million to support approximately 115 K-12 schools throughout the United States. The grant will help with the implementation of PLTW Launch (elementary), PLTW Gateway (middle school), PLTW Engineering (high school), and PLTW Computer Science (high school) programs. The organization previously received a $1 million grant from the foundation to support 40 high schools with Computer Integrated Manufacturing courses.
"Toyota and the Toyota USA Foundation have been tremendous partners for many years, helping us engage and inspire students in their K-12 education and future careers," said Dr. Vince Bertram, president and chief executive officer, PLTW. "Through the foundation's continued support, we will train hundreds of teachers and engage thousands of students in PLTW's hands-on, transformative learning experiences. These programs help prepare students with the knowledge and skills to compete in the workforce, solve challenges, contribute to global progress, and create a lasting impact on their communities and our country."
NAPE received $350,000 to create promotional tools and outreach strategies for educators to use with students and parents at the K-12 and community college level. The organization also will partner with PLTW to increase the participation and persistence of women and people of color. The collateral, tools and strategies developed because of this project will be leveraged through NAPE's current professional development activities being implemented across the nation.
"This award provides a unique opportunity for NAPE to equip educators with the student-focused tools they need to increase student awareness, interest, and choice to enter into advanced manufacturing STEM careers," said Mimi Lufkin, chief executive officer, NAPE. "With such a wide scope, this grant can positively impact thousands of women and people of color."