ERLANGER, Kentucky (August 19, 2014) — When Tierra Kavanaugh Turner first came to the Opportunity Exchange (OE) more than a decade ago, she didn’t have the capacity or resources to be a supplier to Toyota. But that wasn’t about to stop her. So she continued to come, year after year.
“They identified areas I needed to strengthen and improve – increasing staff, documenting processes, and exploring potential strategic alliances,” says Turner, owner of TKT & Associates, Inc. and TKT-nectir Global Staffing, LLC. “In the interim I worked with their suppliers to gain specific industry experience and scale.”
TKT provides supplier and workforce diversity programs for public and private sector clients, specialized staffing, consulting and strategic growth programs with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses.
“You don’t walk in the door with something handed to you,” she says. Turner first secured contracts with Tier I suppliers EnovaPremier and Piston Automotive before becoming a Tier I to Toyota, providing contingent labor services for its Engineering and Technology groups. “Without demonstrated experience with Toyota or even the automotive industry, I had to prove that I deserved an opportunity to perform through quality of service, responsiveness, problem resolution and pricing. That demonstrated capability came through my experience with their Tier Is.”
Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) started OE with about 300 attendees and it has grown to become one of the largest minority business events in the country, attracting about 1,700 people who attend free of charge. Since 2009, more than $100 million in contracts have been generated by M/WBEs.
“As a business owner I am always working and it is rare to get a chance to step away from the business to work on it,” Turner said. “Here you get to do more marketing of your business in a 3 ½ hour timeframe than it would take you a year to do, and you get valuable face-to-face time.”
Now in its 25th year, the Toyota Opportunity Exchange is October 27-28 at the Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati. The event includes seminars, panel discussions and sharing of success stories by Toyota M/WBE suppliers, both direct and indirect.
For more information about Toyota's supplier diversity program, please visit www.toyotasupplier.com.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today
Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.
About Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.
Toyota’s largest plant in North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) started production in May 1988. The Georgetown, Ky. plant employs about 7,000 full time team members and represents a $5.9 billion investment. TMMK currently produces the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza as well as four-cylinder and V-6 engines and other engine components. Current annual capacity is 500,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines. Since 1987, TMMK has donated more than $45 million to non-profit organizations throughout Kentucky.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.