Curry — who was honored in 2020 as one of Automotive News' 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry — also urged members to reauthorize the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a 2014 law that helps job seekers access employment and training opportunities as well as other support services and helps employers hire and retain skilled workers.
In doing so, she said, the committee should continue to allow for greater private sector participation in the work force.
As of July, there were 889,000 job openings in the manufacturing sector, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Toyota has 10 manufacturing facilities, nearly 1,500 dealerships and 180,000 employees across the U.S. At its assembly plant in Princeton, Ind., the Japanese automaker is investing more than $800 million and creating an additional 1,400 jobs to build new electrified Toyota and Lexus models.
"You can understand why the work force pipeline is of paramount importance to Toyota," Curry said.
Since 2010, Toyota said it has given $3.5 million to more than 180 K‐12 schools in Indiana and across the U.S. to implement Project Lead the Way programs that provide students with more STEM education and career pathways.
In states where Toyota has manufacturing plants, it also collaborates with local community colleges to develop advanced manufacturing technician programs, where students attend school and learn on the job site of the sponsoring company.
Toyota also works with the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity on its "Make the Future" program, an effort to help increase the participation of women and other underrepresented groups in education paths that can lead to careers in advanced manufacturing.