Workforce workshop held in Lincoln to find automotive workers in Alabama

East AL Works, AAMA hold workshop

LINCOLN, Ala. (WBRC) - Suppose you ran a business or industry that was part of Alabama’s fastest growing industry and you needed people to fill jobs paying up to $55,000 per year?

That's what was on the mind of the participants in a workforce workshop Wednesday devoted to filling jobs in Alabama's growing automobile industry. Speakers shared their stories on generating a workforce with the skills to build Hondas, Mercedes, Hyundais, or Toyotas and Mazdas.

The workshop was co-sponsored by East Alabama Works and the Alabama Automobile Manufacturers Association.

"We have tremendous job opportunities. We have suppliers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are growing at a very rapid pace, and there are available jobs," said Brian Davis, president of AAMA. "So what we're looking at is, things across the whole state, that are being done, to fill those jobs"

Davis says the Toyota-Mazda plant in Huntsville, for instance, will bring 4,000 new jobs and some 20,000 more jobs with nearby "just-in-time" suppliers.

Finding workers with the skills can begin in high school, according to Jeff Lynn, a vice-chancellor with the state community college system. Those students, with the help of the community colleges in Alabama, can begin apprenticeships.

"Our students graduate at five semesters, with little or no debt, going to work for an automotive company, and around the mid-50s, starting salary," Lynn told WBRC.

The workshop was held at the Talladega Industrial Center, itself located across the street from Honda Manufacturing in Lincoln.

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