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Three Kentucky Schools Receive $1.7M for ‘Engineering Diversity’

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A total of 35 students at three Kentucky universities will be able to earn a college degree for free due to a $1.7 million donation by Toyota.

Starting this fall, Toyota’s new program will provide full-tuition scholarships to female and minority students to get engineering degrees from the University of Kentucky or the University of Louisville.

Students who want to earn a two-year associate’s degree before joining the engineering program can do so at Bluegrass Community & Technical College, which also received scholarship money.

Highlighting the “critical shortage of women and minorities in the engineering workforce,” dean of the University of Louisville’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering, Emmanuel Collins said the investment will “help diversify the school’s talent pipeline.”

Benefits of the Program

The new program will provide “resources, time and knowledge to help build stronger communities,” President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Susan Elkington said.

Those enrolled in the program will be mentored by Toyota engineers. Students will participate in paid co-ops with the organization, making $17 to $21 per hour. They will also be part of two to three co-op rotations to acquire hands-on experience in different areas of engineering.  

“Building a stronger Kentucky will require deliberate and sustainable efforts to provide equal access to quality education,” Elkington said. “We’re thankful for great education partners that have the same mission.”

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