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Marshall partners with Toyota on student business project

Jul. 11, 2011 @ 09:42 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Four Marshall University students have completed an eight-week business problem-solving partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia.

Toyota and Marshall representatives developed the program after an exploratory meeting last fall to discuss the university's relatively new International Business program and internship possibilities. The academic program requires students to complete either a foreign study or a business experience that exposes them to global economic issues.

The students included Matthew Lawless, Klaudia Mucharzewska and Sarah Kay, all from the Lewis College of Business, and Michael "Chad" McClure from the College of Liberal Arts.

"The Toyota partnership was a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience in a business setting," McClure said. "We were able to work closely with several members of the Toyota staff, learn from them and ultimately present our results to the senior management of the plant."

Toyota personnel trained the students using a Japanese business concept called Kaizen, which means "improvement" or "change for the better" and refers to the philosophy or practice that focuses on continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering and business management. The team of students was required to be at the Buffalo plant two days a week for a minimum of 10 hours per week.

Toyota General Manager Mike Lutz said his company welcomed the opportunity to build an educational bridge with Marshall University.

"This important educational opportunity helped prepare these students to be our next generation of leaders," Lutz said. "This exercise was to teach them the concept of going back to basics, exposing real significant problems, and then making fundamental improvements, which is the foundation of the Toyota Production System."

For more information contact Smith at 304-696-3233 or Stoler at 304-696-6679 at Marshall University. For Toyota information contact Sandy Maynard at 304-937-7403.

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