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Toyota plant featured in documentary about the changing U.S. work force

Georgetown’s Toyota plant is featured in a new video about America’s changing workforce. In this 2013 file photo, a Toyota Camry came off the assembly line in the plant in Georgetown.
Georgetown’s Toyota plant is featured in a new video about America’s changing workforce. In this 2013 file photo, a Toyota Camry came off the assembly line in the plant in Georgetown.

A new streaming documentary project from Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple and the new national nonprofit campaign WorkingNation features the Georgetown Toyota plant.

Kopple directed a series of four documentary shorts investigating the changes impacting the U.S. work force and solutions currently underway to train workers for the new economy, according to a press release from WorkingNation.

The newest episode, available on Fortune.com and WorkingNation.com, focuses on a two-year technical program developed by Toyota in Georgetown, that combines real work experience for incoming employees with advanced training in the field of robotics and automation. The goal for Toyota is to create ideally trained employees for their specialized needs.

Titled, “Model of the Future,” the episode shows how employers like Toyota are working to re-design education — in this case with students from Bluegrass Community & Technical College — to fill millions of highly technical jobs with people able to do them.

The streaming episode is accompanied by an op-ed from National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO Jay Timmons. In the piece, Timmons explains how a growing skills gap is preventing members of the U.S. work force from filling significant employment opportunities across U.S. manufacturing industries, the new release states.

“Over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled. Even as our nation strives to get people back to work, a lack of trained workers — often those with trade and technical skills — leaves most manufacturing companies scrambling for talent,” writes Timmons. “This skills gap is a drag on the economy. A shortage of trained employees can slow the growth of our businesses and therefore our economy.”

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