Toyota, Kanawha County Schools announce inaugural class of 4T Academy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nearly two dozen students from across Kanawha County have been selected to be part of West Virginia’s first Toyota 4T Academy.

The academy is a two-year education and manufacturing program that introduces high school juniors and seniors to a career in manufacturing. Twenty-two students signed the dotted line and put on Toyota 4T Academy hats in front of friends and family Thursday in Charleston.

One of the students in the inaugural class is Aven Carter, a Rising Junior at Capital High School. He told MetroNews flagship 580-WCHS AM in Charleston the academy seemed like a natural fit to him.

“In general I like cars and I was interested. Then I went to the Toyota center and they made me feel comfortable. I liked the environment,” Carter said.

The program gives students on-the-job experience assembling engines and transmissions at the plant. The Toyota 4T Academy, based out of Ben Franklin Career Center, stands for team, teach, together, and Toyota.

“If they go through the complete program and decide it’s a good fit for them, they will have the opportunity to stay in West Virginia and provide for their families,” Dr. Tom Williams, Superintendent, Kanawha County Schools told 580-WCHS following the ceremony.

Carter visited the Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia in Buffalo during the application process. More than 50 students applied to participate in the inaugural academy.

“This gives me a future straight out of high school and I love the opportunity,” Carter said.

The inaugural class will begin in the 2022-2023 school year. Students will participate in a classroom learning module at the school and then transition to the plant, working alongside Toyota’s employees. The 4T Academy was developed locally via a collaborative effort with partners from across the education spectrum including Kanawha County Schools, The Education Alliance, and Purdue University’s Indiana Manufacturing Competitiveness Center.

The following students were selected for the academy:

Rising Juniors:
Aven Carter, Capital
Reagan Meadows, Capital
Julia Stinson, George Washington
John Allen, Nitro
Cambrien Thomas, Nitro
Noah Dean, St. Albans
Brayden Fugate, St. Albans
Katelyn Loudermilk, South Charleston
Luke Jordan, Sissonville
Justin Phillips, Sissonville

Rising Seniors:
Elijah Anderson, Capital
Dylan Hundley ,Capital
Jaedon Lane, Capital
Samantha Packard, Capital
Gavynn Sutton, Capital
Ethan Smith, Nitro
Kevin Holmes, St. Albans
Dawson Shank, St. Albans
Jaxon Perry, South Charleston
Maricca Franquez, South Charleston
Blake Johnson, Sissonville
Luis “Anthoni” Silva, Sissonville

More News

Expedited approval of Mountain Valley Pipeline is part of debt ceiling package
West Virginia Rivers is among the environmental groups promoting a June 8 protest in front of the White House.
May 28, 2023 - 9:48 pm
Model pays tribute to B-25 crew killed in West Virginia
Hobbyist Allen Harmon of Cross Lanes used pieces of the wreckage of a 1950 military plane crash at Spruce Knob to create a scale memorial to the nine crew members who perished.
May 28, 2023 - 6:00 pm
Mountain State Art and Craft Fair to return for the 61st year
The 61st year of the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair will return to the grounds of the Cedar Lakes Conference Center, where its been the site of the fair since its inception in 1963.
May 28, 2023 - 3:00 pm
WVU transition begins to come into focus
A campus conversation was held earlier this week.
May 28, 2023 - 1:14 pm