Alabama’s automakers are expanding their efforts to create new career pathways for Alabama students


Alabama’s automakers have a long-standing commitment to developing and supporting workforce development initiatives in Alabama to elevate interest in manufacturing careers and provide educational and training opportunities for the next-generation workforce.

“These automakers have engaged in multiple programs that stimulate interest in new career pathways and build valuable skills that can transfer to other industries,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“This represents the kind of forward thinking in workforce development that is making a difference across the state,” he added.

The Modern Manufacturing Program (MMP) focuses on manufacturing-centered skills and training to prepare students for high-demand, high-wage jobs in the sector.

Mercedes-Benz is also an active supporter of MMP, recently donating a GLE sport utility to help launch the program at Brookwood High School and providing advisors to help the students.

It wasn’t the first such gift: In 2021, Mercedes announced the donation of 15 of its luxury SUVs, with a combined value of more than $700,000, to support workforce training at Alabama schools.

In addition, Mercedes’ Alabama operation recently implemented a youth apprenticeship program for 16- to 18-year-old students, according to AlabamaWorks, a state workforce development organization that honored the Vance plant with an innovation award late last year.

For around a decade, Mercedes has teamed with Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa to offer a mechatronics program that includes classroom instruction, hands-on learning in the plant, and a job offer for graduates.

The program, which combines mechanical engineering, computer science and electronics, has been praised as a model industry-education partnership.

Read Made in Alabama’s Full Write Up