Wiregrass Newsroom: Jobs Emerge from New Toyota

Dothan, AL (WSFA) -- Drill, baby, drill is more than just an oil term to students at Wallace Community College, but rather the means to making a living by working on cars.

And with a brand new Dothan Toyota location, that living is likely to be only months away.

"It would mean everything.  I've held a lot of jobs in the past. and if I had that job, I would not let go of it.  I would be there," says Matthew Flippo, a student in Wallace Community College's Toyota Technical Education program.

Wallace Community College is home to the T-Ten program.  It's a part of the Toyota Technical Education Network where students learn everything there is to know about Toyota cars.

"The program basically is an automotive technology program, that teaches them on new cars, so they're prepared to go in and start working on new cars right away," says Tom Sheff, an Automotive Technology instructor at the college.

Among other cars, Toyota donated a $60,000 Lexus to the program so that the students could get hands-on experience.

And it's that hands-on experience that Toyota has looked for in the past.

"Most of the technicians that are at Dothan Toyota have come from this program over the past 8 to 10 years," says Sheff.

And it's exactly what they'll need when the $15 million complex opens on Ross Clark Circle next year. It's triple the size with an even larger service center.

"Our service and parts business has grown dramatically. So, we're expanding that tremendously, and that's going to be a big part of the business," says Mike Schmitz, the owner of Dothan Toyota.

It's a big part of the business, and a big opportunity for these students.

Reporter: Melissa McKinney