Beckley native to receive Toyota manufacturing award

A Beckley native has been chosen to receive the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award from The Manufacturing Institute.

Shamaya Morris, production engineering specialist at Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV), is one of three Toyota team members from multiple operations across North America to receive the STEP Ahead Award this year. 

The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers, the release said. Award winners represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to executive leadership.

“The women whom we are celebrating represent the exciting career opportunities available in manufacturing,” said Michelle Kumbier, 2019 chair of STEP Ahead and chief operating officer at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “The STEP Ahead Award honors successful women in this industry for their significant achievements and the positive impact they have made on their companies, their communities and the industry as a whole.”

Women totaled 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, the release said, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce — constituting one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent.

“Shamaya has made a strong, positive impact to our team at Toyota West Virginia,” says Leah Curry, president of TMMWV. “Her contributions since joining us in 2014 as a co-op are exemplary, and she is a shining example to young females in our community, both personally and professionally.”

As a production control specialist, she recently was the lead production engineer for TMMWV’s Direct Automatic Transmission (DAT2) model project, a $43 million 8-speed high torque transmission line. She played a key role in being trained at Toyota’s parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation, in Japan. She then implemented those processes at Toyota West Virginia and set standards for team members operating this unique line.

The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, the release said, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership.

The Manufacturing Institute will recognize recipients at a reception in Washington, D.C., on April 11.

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