PLANO, TX—Toyota has added eight more locations to its Technician Training & Education Network (T-TEN) program where the company partners with schools and organizations to train future technicians. The goal is to fill available jobs in Toyota and Lexus dealerships throughout the country.

“Annually, we graduate about 400 students from the program nationwide,” says Joseph Myers, technician development manager for the T-TEN program. “Unfortunately, that is insufficient for what our dealers are needing, especially in markets like greater Dallas.”

Collin College Technical Campus in Allen is one of the eight new locations. Counting the eight additions, Toyota works with 44 schools and organizations across the country in T-TEN. Locally, the company also works with Dallas College Eastfield Campus in Mesquite and Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.

Toyota shipped two vehicles over to Collin College, according to Myers, for students to train on. He added that he anticipates between five and 10 students to go through the program during its first year at Collin College. A major draw for students interested in T-TEN is they have a leg up on students seeking jobs in other disciplines.

“For a student to graduate, they actually have to be employed at a dealership,” Myers says. “Our program is little bit unique in that most of our students have a place of employment prior to the first day of class in the program.”

Myers added that students can work at the dealership on a part-time basis while they're going through the program, too. Toyota hires technicians out of automotive school to fill open roles, but taking this approach of being in on the process from the ground up creates brand loyalty.

“If they're trained on Toyota technology, that sort of gets in their blood,” Meyers says.

This initiative by Toyota is part of a broader push by manufacturers who see blue-collar talent becoming increasingly scarce. With the rise in technology-related jobs, manufacturers have to get creative to entice prospective employees to spend a career working with his or her hands on the shop floor.