When Toyota Motor Corp. Broke ground in spring 2006 on a $187 million technical center in York Township, MI, the auto maker said it intended to add 400 workers to its 700-strong staff in nearby Ann Arbor.

The goal is within reach. By mid-October, Toyota needed only 100 more hires to reach 1,100 by 2010. Bruce Brownlee, senior executive administrator of the Toyota Technical Center Michigan locations, says about 600 of the 1,007 Michigan employees are housed at the new York Twp. location.

Brownlee says “a large percentage” of Toyota's new hires are fresh out of school, with most coming from Michigan universities and other Midwest schools. The remaining employees have a work history with a variety of automotive companies, including the Detroit Three.

The new campus is a close copy of the Ann Arbor facility, where Toyota has developed numerous models, including the new Venza cross/utility vehicle going on sale in January.

Despite having other tech centers in California, the two Michigan sites make the region Toyota's “center for automotive research and development in North America,” TTC President Shigeki Terashi says.