Keith Laney had a couple of things nagging at the back of his mind as he thought about retirement and what that meant for his future.
He enjoyed the challenges of his job at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, but he felt the need for a change. In addition to a new challenge, he wanted whatever he did next to be fulfilling.
That desire led him to KTECH, where he will help guide students on a career path in industries like the ones he’s worked in most of his adult life.
“I can see where for me, this will feel much more rewarding,” Laney said. “Like I’m making a difference.”
Laney worked at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama for more than 15 years, starting out as a maintenance team member and working his way up to group leader over maintenance and safety training.
Prior to his work at TMMAL, he worked as an industrial maintenance instructor for the Tennessee College of Applied Technology. Working there, he taught students about "whatever we thought would be relevant in the workplace.” That included pneumatics, welding, machining and working with programmable logic controllers.
Laney was introduced to KTECH during his time at Toyota, when he toured the facility with Scott Russo, who is a Talent Acquisition Manager for Mazda Toyota Manufacturing and a KTECH ambassador. He also knew some KTECH students who came into TMMAL’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician program and saw them excel in their work.
When Laney started looking at his future, he contacted KTECH founder and CEO Lee Marshall. He asked about using her as a reference in his job search, but she had other plans — and she convinced him to join the team.
“Keith brings a lot to the table for KTECH,” Marshall said. “He has experience in teaching and training others. He has decades of experience in industrial maintenance, and he has worked in the same places many KTECH students want to be. He will be an invaluable resource for our students.”
For Laney, he’s ready to get to work and help with a team that's invested in making sure students succeed.
“Everyone is sincere here,” he said. “They want to make a difference in people’s lives, and I think they’re doing that.”
Since it started in 2016, KTECH has given 278 certifications in Mechatronics, Robotics, Solid Edge, Soldering and Virtual Reality. Applications are being taken now for the Fall 2022 Mechatronics session. KTECH is also the home to KTECH VR Academy, which teaches high school students how to develop programs for virtual reality. For more information about KTECH’s offerings and class schedules, visit goktech.org.