Partnership Seeks to Increase High School Equivalency

Posted: Updated:
TMMI President Millie Marshall was on hand for the announcement. (photo courtesy of TMMI) TMMI President Millie Marshall was on hand for the announcement. (photo courtesy of TMMI)

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc. in Princeton is partnering with Vincennes University and WorkOne Southwest to help grow the number of Hoosiers with a high school equivalency credential. The automaker is awarding a $60,000 grant to cover the cost of test fees and services provided by VU. Ashley Chatham, corporate communications manager for Toyota Indiana, says the funding will benefit about 200 people, but the partners hope to be able to make a bigger impact in the future.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chatham says the program began from conversations between TMMI and WorkOne a few years ago. 

"We saw the gap and saw an opportunity to create a program that we can now say works," said Chatham. "We thought like it was a smart investment and a way to support not only our current workforce needs here at Toyota, but more importantly, we saw the opportunity to really support the community in a very meaningful way."

Toyota says there are about 476,000 Hoosiers without a high school diploma, including thousands in southwest Indiana. The funding from Toyota will support test fee waivers for qualifying students in the region who are looking to take the high school equivalency exam. Chatham says the cost of the exam, about $90, is often a major barrier for residents attempting to get their HSE.

The funding will also support enhancements to the VU Adult Basic Education website to create course awareness, as well as classroom video conferencing, equipment for students with transportation barriers, and an annual HSE graduation ceremony.

Chatham says the partners are now having conversations on how to grow the program and its impact.

The program will begin later this month with classes at two locations in Gibson County and five locations in Vanderburgh County. The program will be open to anyone in the southwest Indiana region.

Chatham says the program began from conversations between TMMI and WorkOne a few years ago. 
  • Perspectives

    • We’re Having the Wrong Conversations About Safety

      Every time there’s a shooting at a school or a workplace, the arguments begin. We need more police officers stationed in the buildings. We need to arm teachers or encourage employees to carry handguns. We should invest in smokescreen systems or bulletproof partitions. Everyone should hide from the shooter. Everyone should run from the shooter. Everyone should confront the shooter. It’s healthy that we’re discussing safety, but unfortunately, we’re talking...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • (courtesy: Frank Logan/Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc.)

      Historic Military Convoy to Cross Indiana

      A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • Photo courtesy of Crestwood Village

      Justus Rental Properties Details Closures

      Indianapolis-based Justus Rental Properties, Inc. has announced it will be closing its assisted living service line at Crestwood Village West and Crestwood Village East. The company is also is in the process of selling the both communities.

    • (photo courtesy of the Marshall County EDC)

      Wire and Cable Startup to Set Up Shop in Argos

      A startup wire and cable company has announced plans to launch operations in Marshall County. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Sequel Wire and Cable LLC will invest $53 million to purchase and equip the 50,000-square-foot Argos Manufacturing Center and create 120 jobs by the end of 2024. The company plans to expand the facility to more than 162,000 square feet and begin operations in early 2020. The $2.7 million Argos Manufacturing Center was built in part with...