Toyota launches a unique hiring process in Greensboro

Published on: December 7, 2023
Screenshot for Spectrum Local News video
Elisabeth Hornfeck working in class at Guilford Technical Community College.

Elisabeth Hornfeck is learning the ins and outs about pneumatic and hydraulic power. 

“Our pneumatic trainer, so once we hooked up the air supply there, we set the pressure for the circuit. Built the circuit. This is DCV so we can manually operate it and then use these to connect the cylinders together,” Hornfeck said.

She’s a freshman in the Advance Manufacturing Technician program at Guilford Technical Community College.

“So the plant will have, a lot of people think, when they think of the machinery that we'll be using, they think it's all electrical power. But a lot of times, pneumatic and hydraulic power. So things powered by air or water can produce more force than just electrical equipment,” Hornfeck said.

GTCC is the partnering training college for the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) USA program that Toyota started years ago to build a workforce for its plants. The program is now under the manufacturing institute to expand further across the country.

Hornfeck and her 17 classmates are a part of the first North Carolina chapter of FAME.

“Get the engineering side of things, you get the technical side of things, and you get, you know, they're preparing you for for life too, not just for work,” Hornfeck said.

The AMT students in the program take classes two days a week and work for their respective sponsors the other three days.

Hornfeck is a big lover of math and science and is a robotics coach at the Greensboro Science Center.

She says this program will help push her into her dream of becoming an engineer.

“Makes me, like, value my education more. Not that I didn't value it before, but to know that again, it's not. I feel like growing up. You hear that like in math class and stuff. They're like, what am I going to use this? You know? Now it's like, oh, we can ask that. And they'll tell us exactly when we'll use it,” Hornfeck said.

Hornfeck works at Toyota Greensboro and says what she learns in the classroom translates over into her work day.

“The hydraulic systems that we're kind of working on, troubleshooting in class. So designing one of those, but doing it in a way where if we went to Toyota, and we were engineers tomorrow, you know, we'd understand cost consideration and decision matrix and there's a PDCA cycle, which is plan, do, check, act,” Hornfeck said.

Hornfeck says this work study program is a good opportunity that’s setting her up for her future.

“This is not just a regular college program. So I'm getting the opportunity, you know, to start my career. It's not just about getting paid to go to work and things like that, but starting my career, building these connections with engineers and technicians,” Hornfeck said.

The N.C. FAME Program is a two-year program. Students graduate with an associate degree in Mechatronics Engineering Technology.

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