Triad colleges, universities are key for Greensboro-Randolph Megasite workforce

School Watch

(WGHP) — As Toyota gears up for production in 2025, nearby community colleges and universities will play a key role in preparing the workers who will be employed at the mega-site.  

“It’s going to transform lives and hopefully jobs for decades to come here,” said Elbert Lassiter, vice-president of Workforce Development at RCC. 

A roughly decade-long transformation came to fruition on Monday as Toyota announced it’s bringing the first battery manufacturing plant in North America to the Triad.  

“It’s a once in a generation opportunity,” said Robert Shackleford, president of Randolph Community College.   

Campuses that specialize in technical training are a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to the future workforce. 

“Everything from assembly workers, engineers, to mechatronics, etc.,” Lassiter said. 

A $40 million Golden Leaf Foundation Grant went to the NC Department of Transportation for road infrastructure for the Toyota project.. 

“For the distance to be an obstacle, we could remove that,” Shackleford said. “We can train them here on-site, on their time, at their convenience, and we’re ready to provide that.

Other four-year colleges like North Carolina A&T State University will prepare engineers who could potentially work at the plant. 

The goal is to provide jobs to students who are already living in the area. 

“Hopefully, they stay and continue and become part of the workforce that makes our community what it is today,” said Dr. Beth Pitonzo, senior vice-president of instruction at GTCC. 

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan hoped the Toyota-Mazda plant would choose the triad in 2018. She’s grateful we got another shot and excited about what this will do for her city.  

“They have a global presence, and people around the world…are going to hear about Greensboro,” Vaughan said. 

School officials at RCC said they plan to hire more staff to train workers once things get up and running. 

They will work closely with Toyota to understand what specific training the company needs them to provide.  

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