CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Kanawha County Schools and Toyota are working together to help keep West Virginia students in the state after graduation. It’s all a part of the new 4T Academy, and today leaders have selected the inaugural class for the new program at the Charleston Civic Center.

The Toyota 4T Academy is a two-year education and manufacturing program that introduces high school students to a career in manufacturing.

22 students from all different high schools across Kanawha County were recognized as the inaugural class. The program will be based at Ben Franklin Career Center and it will help prepare students for jobs that are in demand right now.

The students will participate in a classroom learning module at the school and then transition to the plant – working alongside Toyota’s employees. Students we spoke with say they got involved because it’s a great way to stay motivated.

“To be honest I seen it as a way to keep my head on straight and give me a better future,” says Anthony Silva, an upcoming senior at Sissonville High School. He goes on to encourage other students to participate in the program: “Do it. It’s worth it. It will get you a future ahead of you. If you don’t have plans, do this.”

Reagan Meadows, an upcoming junior at Capital High School says she just really enjoyed the program’s curriculum. “We did like some of the activities that they do. Like putting together some of the parts and we had to identify the mistakes with some of the car parts and I enjoyed that part because I could identify those.”

The four Ts in the Academy’s name stand for team, teach, together and Toyota.