Thirty Gadsden State students recently received the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association Scholarship.
The college has more AAMA scholarship recipients than any other community college in the state.
“Our students have set the bar,” said Alan Smith, Dean of Workforce Development. “For three years in a row, Gadsden State has had the most students receive this scholarship. This scholarship is a great path to limitless opportunities for our students.”
The AAMA partnered with the Alabama Community College System to provide scholarships and mentors to students pursuing an associate degree or a technical education certificate in the automotive industry. Students in automotive technology-related programs were considered for the scholarship.
“The AAMA deserves our appreciation for what it is doing to foster the growth and education of our students,” Smith said. “The association has been instrumental in driving economic development in our state. It has played an important role in making Alabama a hub for automotive excellence. The AAMA is doing its part to ensure that the auto manufacturers in our state have the employees they need.”
Since a Mercedes plant opened 26 years ago in Vance, four other automotive manufacturing plants have been built in the state. According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, automotive manufacturing plants in the state produce 1.3 million cars each year, which is the third highest total in the nation.
Alabama also has 150 Tier 1 suppliers, who send finished parts directly to automotive manufacturers.
The Alabama Department of Commerce reports that the state added more than 6,000 jobs in 2023, many of them in the automotive sector.
“We have auto manufacturers who are having to use recruiters to find out-of-state employees to meet their needs,” Smith said. “We have an obligation to do what we can to train and educate top-notch technicians that can fill the many vacant jobs available. The AAMA Scholarships are instrumental in getting more skilled laborers. It’s easier to recruit students when you can offer scholarships that will cover the cost of tuition and fees.”
The scholarships are $4,000 each and can be used for tuition, fees and books.
Anthony Burns, Kanyon Cox, Kay-den Cox, Judge Daugherty, Westin Day, Joshua Kanaday and Mason Lockridge of Gadsden; Dalton Elliott of Southside; and Tanner Holderfield of Rainbow City received scholarships in FAME/Industrial Automation Technology. Tyler Cate of Gadsden received a scholarship in Precision Machining Technology. Chandler McGinnis of Ashville received a scholarship in Industrial Automation. Caleb Fleming of Gadsden received a scholarship in Civil Engineering Technology.