Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony in Huntsville (Office of Gov. Kay Ivey)
MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday joined Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, U.S.A. to break ground on their new $1.6 billion plant in Huntsville. The jointly owned-and-operated automotive production plant, which is expected to create 4,000 new jobs, is the largest economic development project landed by the state of Alabama in the last decade.
“Not only is Mazda Toyota Manufacturing providing high-paying jobs, they are investing heavily in our future workforce. This will not only benefit them, but also other manufacturers in the area,” Governor Ivey said. “One thing I’ve learned with Toyota being in our state is that they care for the communities where they do business – it is, after all, their home, too. And they prove it every day. We are lucky to have Mazda Toyota expanding in Alabama.”
Beginning in 2021, the plant will have the capacity to build 300,000 vehicles. The plant will build Toyota’s Corolla, whose all-new 2020 model was unveiled yesterday in California, and Mazda’s yet-to-be revealed crossover model.
“We are proud to be here with Toyota, with whom we share the bond of pride in manufacturing,” said Kiyotaka Shobuda, Mazda’s senior managing executive officer. “We are proud to be breaking ground on a new ‘home’ here in Huntsville – a city that believes in the possibilities of technology and manufacturing and has striven to realize mankind’s greatest dream.”
The alliance will assure competitiveness in manufacturing, allowing both automakers to respond quickly to market changes and helping to ensure sustainable growth toward the future of mobility.
“It is extremely special to have a partner like Mazda to team up with not only to make the highest-quality cars, but also to create a plant that team members are proud to call their own,” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer, Toyota Motor North America. “As we’ve seen at our Huntsville engine plant, Alabamians are a proud, talented, hard-working group. We are excited to continue our deep investment in the U.S. and Alabama and see nothing but a bright future.”
Fueling future workforce
As part of today’s groundbreaking, MTMUS donated $750,000 to support STEM-related programs that will encourage and motivate students to pursue a career in the advanced manufacturing field. With 4,000 jobs to fill, MTMUS is committed to investing in developing its future workforce in collaboration with local educators and economic development partners. The donation includes:
–$500,000 to the Huntsville Madison County Chamber Foundation to launch a new career exploration online platform that will help highlight careers in manufacturing to students, build skills and connect job seekers to opportunities. The goal is to work with local school systems and promote this tool as a resource for career coaches and teachers.
–$250,000 to be split between six school districts in Madison County, Limestone County and Morgan County. Support is aimed at STEM or career technical programs that align with advanced manufacturing. The schools include:
- Huntsville City Schools
- Madison County Schools
- Madison City Schools
- Limestone County Schools
- Decatur City Schools
- Morgan County Schools
In addition, the Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. donated:
- $50,000 to Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama
- $50,000 to Food Bank of North Alabama
- $20,000 to Greater Huntsville Humane Society