(30th January, 2013)
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA – The State of Alabama and the Mercedes-Benz plant today signed an agreement that recognizes Shelton State Community College as one of the best in its field in preparing individuals for careers in manufacturing.
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI) and the State of Alabama (through AIDT, Alabama’s workforce training agency) formalized a contract valued at $1.6 million for Shelton to support MBUSI’s technical programs. The funds will come through AIDT’s Workforce Development funds set up by the State to support MBUSI’s training needs.
Shelton will use the largest portion of the funds ($1.2 million) to buy equipment that will be housed on campus to train students in robotics, electrical and other high-tech skills required in manufacturing. The remainder of the funds will be used to support students with tuition and fees other program expenses.
“We’ve had resounding success with our Automotive Technician and Mechatronics programs over the past year,” said Markus Schaefer, President and CEO of MBUSI. “Today, more than 100 candidates have enrolled in the program, which has been recognized in the State of Alabama, nationally and globally as a model in the arena of workforce development. Shelton State and AIDT have been critical in the success of these efforts.”
“AIDT is pleased to be working with MBUSI and Shelton State in this extremely dynamic program” said Ed Castile, Executive Director for AIDT. “We have a long-standing relationship with MBUSI and we’re looking forward to expanding our partnership with the plant and Shelton State. The leadership of both organizations should be commended for this effort.”
The application process for both the Automotive Technician and the Mechatronics programs are now open and students must start the process by enrolling at Shelton State Community College. Students can get full details on the MBUSI website – www.mbusi.com/employment. Varying levels of tuition and fee assistance is available for students, based on their GPA as they progress through the programs.
About The Mercedes-Benz Automotive Technician Program
The Mercedes-Benz Automotive Technician Program includes three terms of instruction at Shelton State Community College. Students will attend classes during the day on Monday and Wednesday, and receive training at MBUSI on Thursday and Friday. During training at MBUSI, students will spend time in the classroom and on the shop floor. Of the students who successfully complete the program at Shelton State, the top 75% will advance to MBUSI and earn a full-time job in Production.
About The Mercedes-Benz Mechatronics Program
The Mercedes-Benz Mechatronics program involves seven terms of instruction at Shelton State and an additional 18 months of training at MBUSI. Students will attend classes at Shelton Monday through Thursday, and experience operational insights and daily procedures at the plant on Fridays.
Upon satisfactory complete of coursework at Shelton, students will earn an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree in Industrial Electronics and a Short Certificate in Industrial Maintenance. Upon successful completion at Shelton State, at least the top 75 % of students in the program will advance to MBUSI and earn a full time job in production. A percentage of these top students who advance to MBUSI will be selected for an 18 months of additional training, which may qualify them for maintenance positions with the plant.
The Tuscaloosa plant was founded in 1995 and started production in 1997. The Mercedes-Benz M-Class was the first product and has been built ever since the start of production in 1997, later joined by the SUVs of the GL- and R-Class. In 2011, the plant produced more than 148,000 vehicles and the plant exceeded this figure in 2012. (Official 2012 production numbers will be announced during the Daimler AG Annual Press Conference on Feb. 7, 2013). As of 2014, the Tuscaloosa plant will be one of the four global production locations of the successor generation of the current Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and will build these vehicles for the North American market. The plant also will begin building a fifth model in 2015. MBUSI currently employs roughly 3,000 Team Members