Teachers from two local county school systems participated in an education roundtable on July 14 at Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant.
The roundtable was part of a new STEM Industry Externship Program, organized by the Alabama Department of Commerce, which gives educators the opportunity to learn about the Alabama Auto Plant’s workforce development efforts.
Tinna Pickens, with the Talladega County School System, and Amy Brown, of the Cleburne County School System, participated in a full day of activities, including a tour of the AIDT Honda Training Center, a presentation about Honda and the Alabama Auto Plant, and a tour of Line 2 logistics, Weld, AF-2, and VQ. The focus of the tour was on technical and work-related skills needed in modern manufacturing. The teachers also met with local plant leaders from a variety of departments to learn more about the skills needed specifically at Honda’s Alabama Auto Plant and to discuss how to better prepare students for a career in manufacturing.
“I think the teachers certainly benefitted from the time spent here. Hopefully they can use the new understanding they have of our company to better prepare their students for careers with us,” said Scott Haywood, Staff Engineer Technical Training, MESD Department, Alabama Auto Plant.
Honda has long been committed to developing and supporting workforce development initiatives in Alabama to create interest in manufacturing careers and provide educational and training opportunities for the next generation workforce.
The plant regularly participates in area high school career days and joins other Honda plants in hosting students and teachers for the annual National Manufacturing Day – a day designed to shine a light on the many career opportunities available in manufacturing. In 2020, Team Honda got creative and took Manufacturing Day virtual due to COVID restrictions.
The Alabama Auto Plant also works with the engineering programs at the University of Alabama and Auburn University, and hosts “JSU Day” for the students at Jacksonville State University in nearby Calhoun County. “JSU Day” includes an open house, plant tour, and career day event for students interested in exploring opportunities and internships at the plant.
One of the plant’s biggest workforce development events each year is the Honda “Gear Up Your Career” tent, which happens during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham. Race fans and attendees have the opportunity to get an up-close and personal look at automotive manufacturing through displays and hands-on activities led by Alabama Auto Plant associates to learn about potential jobs in the industry.
Educators interested in participating in future externship events can learn more on the Alabama STEM Council’s website and social media accounts. The State Department of Education also advertises and promotes the opportunities through their platforms.