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Editor’s Note: Senator Damon Thayer represents the 17th Senate District which includes Owen County.
Toyota has been a great corporate citizen of Georgetown and Kentucky because of the way it has conducted its business in Kentucky and other American communities for more than 50 years. They’ve set an example for other companies to follow.
In the nearly 25 years since Toyota chose Georgetown as the location for its largest North American plant, the company has been a model corporate citizen. The Georgetown facility now manufactures engines in addition to automobiles, all part of a $5.3 billion investment in the commonwealth. Since 2005, all of the Georgetown site’s waste has been recycled or re-used, saving precious landfill space in the Bluegrass Region. Their on-site vegetable garden contributes more than one thousand tons of produce for God’s Pantry. In all, Toyota has given sponsorships or donations worth more than $37 million to local charitable groups with missions ranging from education to social services.
In light of these facts, what community wouldn’t want Toyota? We’re lucky to have them in Georgetown, and I know other cities wish they had Toyota, too. Many Kentucky communities do indeed benefit from Toyota’s presence, even if they don’t realize it. Toyota’s North American headquarters are in Erlanger, and the company’s parts center supplies distributors across the continent from Hebron. In all, more than 9,000 Kentuckians work directly for Toyota.
It goes much further than that, though. Ninety Toyota suppliers are located in Kentucky, creating more than 10,000 additional jobs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Kentucky community that’s not affected positively by Toyota. Nationwide, more than 200,000 have jobs tied directly or indirectly to Toyota, thanks to its 350 U.S. suppliers.
The true measure of a person — and likewise, a company — is made when adversity tests them. Toyota is being tested now. It is my hope that the company will emerge stronger than ever. I’m proud to have Toyota in my community. The thousands of people in my district who work at Toyota have a work ethic and commitment to excellence that is second to none.
Sen. Damon Thayer