Toyota Manufacturing of West Virginia in Buffalo, W.Va. has a tradition of giving back to its local community. The internationally-owned company is a proud supporter of WVU Tech in a number of ways, including internships, financial gifts and employment for graduates.
In 2013, WVU Tech administrators visited the Buffalo facility for a plant tour and to reconnect with dozens of alumni who are employed at the manufacturing facility. Administrators were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the site, while learning the impact the school has on Toyota’s operations. More than two dozen Tech alumni are employed at Toyota and the employer visits Tech’s campus each year for career fairs and board meetings to meet prospective employees. In addition to hiring WVU Tech graduates, Toyota has employed students as interns while they continue their studies.
One such alumnus that WVU Tech was proud to honor in 2013 is Barry Pearson. Pearson was named as the 2013 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Business, Health and Social Science and is the manager of human resources at Toyota Motor Manufacturing of West Virginia. In this position, he is responsible for team member relations, corporate strategy and development, government affairs, community relations, staffing and recruiting, training and development and compensation and benefits. The West Virginia operation employs 1,300 people and ships Toyota and Lexus brand powertrain products to plants in North American while exporting to Canada and Japan.
A West Virginia native, Pearson graduated from Point Pleasant High School in 1992 before earning a BS in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1996. While at Tech, he was a three year starter for the Tech football team and defensive co-captain his senior year.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced financial support for WVU Tech in the form of a grant to support a summer camp at Buffalo High School. Toyota awarded $13,895 for WVU Tech Engineering professors to hold Camp STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for Putnam County students. The program will focus on the STEM disciplines and provide interactive lessons to encourage students to study these subjects and explore these areas for careers.
“WVU Tech is fortunate to have industries in the Kanawha Valley that both recognize and value the quality education and training students receive,” said Carolyn Long, CEO. “We appreciate their support and look forward to continuing our partnership with them.”