For Jose Vasquez, Sr., the road to Toyota started when a trusted friend suggested Jose move his family from Los Angeles, California to Georgetown, Kentucky for a better life. Apprehensive at first, Jose Jr. didn’t know what to expect, especially coming from such a large city densely populated with Hispanics. Would Kentucky welcome the Vasquez family?
It didn’t take long after accepting a position with Toyota that Jose realized Respect for People was much more than a pillar of The Toyota Way; it was a living, breathing way of life that every team member embraced. Any preconceived notion of non-acceptance was immediately dispelled.
“I’ve been here 12 years, and this has been the best job of my lifetime,” states Jose, Sr.
Although Jose, Sr. admits that during the early years he didn’t see as many Hispanics working in the plant, he says there has been an evolution of diversity in the workforce over his tenure with Toyota.
In addition, he’s proud to share that “at Toyota, they treat me very well. Everyone is very respectful, and they really encourage people to move up in the ranks. The culture of Toyota is nothing I have ever experienced before. And, it’s the reason I wanted my son to work at Toyota, too.”
A second-generation Toyota team member, Jose Vasquez, Jr. says, “My dad encouraged me to get a job at Toyota, and at first, I didn’t really want to listen. But, then I started to think about what kind of jobs would offer a good life for my family. And, a thought kept repeating in my mind, ‘my dad has a good life.’ So, I knew Toyota would be something that could make my future better.”
As father and son, they work in different areas at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK). They believe Toyota’s culture of Respect for People is a driving factor in the success of the plant.
Jose, Jr. says, “Toyota has emphasized having respect for others and learning as much as you can from others. And, that makes a difference.”