Not all the 900 jobs at the new AW Texas plant in Cibolo will require college degrees, but workers with specific skills will be in demand by the time it begins operation in 2021.
The Japanese-owned plant will be producing automatic transmissions, and eventually hybrid transmissions, primarily for Toyota Tundras built in San Antonio.
Mark Luft, director of the city of Cibolo's Economic Development Corporation, said some of the jobs will require education in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Luft said the company will also need those with training in fields such as robotics, computer software programming, mechanics, electronics and drafting of technical drawings.
He said the plant will also have jobs that require skills in the assembling of products, research and development, business administration, logistics, procurement and environmental science.
Depending on the skill levels needed, Ricardo Ramirez, director of analytics, performance and strategy for Workforce Solutions San Antonio, said there is an estimated 50% to 87% gap between supply and demand.
"Those are great jobs," Ramirez said. "What's needed is more training programs, mainly in the technical fields."
St. Philip's College is trying to fill some of the demand for trade skill workers, by training more than 500 students in the school's automotive and manufacturing programs.
Ben Birkenfeld, an instructor who trains technicians for General Motors, said, now that vehicles are more dependent on technology and software, training is now even more vital. He said that's why St. Philip's gives its students a double advantage by offering a two-year associate's degree and professional training because these days, "It's not just the education they need; it's those technical skills."
"These skill sets are just mandatory in the industry," Birkenfeld said.
For example, to build a transmission takes a lot of patience and know-how, he said.
"There's so many parts. They've got to go in at the right time, in the right spot and have the right amount of measurements. There is math and reading involved," Birkenfeld said.
One of his students, Jesus Gomez, who already works at Toyota Texas, is pursuing a career in automotive technology.