Toyota Dealership Helps Special Needs Students With Job Training

Illustration for article titled Toyota Dealership Helps Special Needs Students With Job Training

When we were in school we learned a lot of things, but for most of us the most important lessons were outside of the classroom in the real world. For the past twelve years, a Utah Toyota dealership has partnered with a local school to give special needs students an opportunity to work, and learn valuable job skills.


According to ABC 4 Utah, Karl Malone Toyota has been working with the South Valley School as part of an ongoing, hands-on training program for students with special needs. These young people have a range of situations that include Down's Syndrome, autism, or other learning disabilities. But, every weekday, customers will see about twenty students throughout the dealership learning how to detail cars, greet customers, or keep the place looking tidy.

It's a win-win scenario for everyone; the students get a chance to learn some job skills and the dealership gets to give back to the community.

"We just want to have kids come here and enjoy us and enjoy them because they really do make a difference for us and our customers," said Amy Hind, Customer Relations Manager, Karl Malone Toyota.


All of this goes to show what many of us already know, which is folks with disabilities, whether they be physical or developmental, want to have a job and be productive . Not long ago we reported about a dealership giving an opportunity to a car-loving young man who had a disability that made it so he could never drive. And don't forget about the car-wash that employs adults with autism.

These dealers are quickly making people forget that stealerships exist. That's the best part.

If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at and be sure to include your Kinja handle.

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Good for them. When we had our garage there was a guy, probably in his 30's, who started coming to visit us. I don't know exactly what was wrong with him, but he had a severe speech impediment, physical disabilities (although he was able to get around easily enough) and diminished mental acuity. I don't know exactly when it started, but it seemed that suddenly he was there every day, hanging around the workshop. We didn't mind - he was smart enough to understand the workshop was a dangerous place and he was to keep out of the way.

After a week or two, his dad turned up and we learned the situation. Nigel (the chap's name) was obviously disabled and was prone to wandering for miles and miles each day. He always found his way home and his doctors reckoned it was good for him. His dad asked if we minded him coming around, which was fine with us, and left us his number saying if he was ever a bother to call him and he would come and pick him up.

As a commercial garage, we used to get copies of various magazines like Truck and Driver, Commercial Motor and so forth and there were always copies lying about. This chap, Nigel, absolutely loved lorries and when he saw the magazines he really wanted them. My brother, who was managing director, told him he would have to earn them, so we used to give him little odd jobs to do like sweeping up and emptying the litter bins in the office and so on, for which he would be rewarded with a magazine each day.

In the end, he had his own overalls with his name on, his own chair in the tea room and his own broom. This went on for about a year until he began to come less and less until he eventually stopped coming altogether. A few weeks later, his dad returned with a few bottles of scotch for us. He told us that Nigel had passed away but that he had never been happier than when he was "at work" and spent hours after he got home telling them all about his day.

I have to stop now, because I appear to have a speck of emotion in my eye...