PLANO (CBS11) – After years of development, Toyota is settling into its new North American headquarters, and leaders across the state are taking notice.
To celebrate Toyota’s grand opening, a traditional ribbon cutting wasn’t going to do, so the company looked for a way to celebrate the architecture of its new headquarters.
Vertical dance group Bandaloop descended from the main building’s central opening known as Oculus.
Natural light is a priority at Toyota’s new headquarters that promotes environmentally friendly practices.
On hand to mark the grand opening were local and state leaders including Governor Greg Abbott who called Toyota’s move a symbol of Texas economic growth.
“We have created an architecture for the state of Texas that has served as a magnet that’s been attracting companies from the west coast to the Lone Star state right and left,” Governor Abbott said.
Abbott insists companies are moving to Texas for one key reason.
“Thinking they are going to tell me, well it’s because your taxes are lower; your regulations are more reasonable. When in reality what they tell me, it’s because of the quality workforce that Texas has,” Abbott said.
Now as Toyota prepares to welcome more than 4,000 employees to its new North Texas home, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere offered a message for the city’s newest neighbors.
“Plano has always been your home. We’ve simply been waiting for you to show up. Welcome,” LaRosiliere said.
Toyota still has two more main buildings they plan to open later this month, and they have space to expand in the future.
The courtyard at the center of the new 100-acre campus offers a peaceful refuge for employees.
Inside, exhibits show everything from the early vehicles of Toyota’s past to the concept cars that give a glimpse of the future.
“We’re going to be quicker to market. We’re going to respond much quicker to what our customers are telling us they want in vehicles,” Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz said at an executive round table.
Lentz told CBS11 the new Plano headquarters, complete with its own rock-climbing wall for restless workers, streamlines corporate functions once spread out across the U.S.
The location of the new headquarters became an important point with needs for easy access to the company’s midwestern plants and an area that offered a high quality of life to employees.
“Texas is all about community, and we explain that to people, and they think it’s just kind of a sales job until they actually get here,” Lentz said.
For those already here, Toyota is still looking for hundreds more workers.
“And the type of jobs we’re hiring: IS jobs, quality engineering jobs, accounting and finance jobs, and sales and marketing positions,” Lentz said.
Thursday night Toyota announced a new one million dollar grant awarded to the Collin County Mobility Collaborative. The group is made up of four local nonprofits that will work together to help homeless women and their children.