County News

Workforce Development: Autauga County Technology Center Receives Virtual Reality Headsets



Modern Manufacturing Program Offers Pathway To Success in

Autauga County

Pictured Left to Right: David Niesen, Central AlabamaWorks, Joseph Fenske, ACTC Industrial Maintenance Instructor, ACTC Industrial 

Maintenance Students, Chairman Jay Thompson, Autauga County Commission, Brock Dunn, ACTC Principal


Autauga County, AL- Workforce Development is alive and well in Autauga County! Students in the Modern Manufacturing Pilot Program at the Autauga Career Tech Center received a new piece of equipment for their lab – Five New Virtual Reality Headsets. Through the Modern Manufacturing Program, Central AlabamaWorks has invested over $10,000 to date into Autauga County Career Tech Center in equipment and training and plans to invest more over the coming year through industry partnerships!

The Modern Manufacturing Pilot Program is now in six counties in Central AlabamaWorks! thirteen county region, a result of the increasing need for a skilled manufacturing workforce. Students learn basic employability skills, safety, technical skills, and manufacturing principles needed to be successful in today’s manufacturing environment.

As Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama continues to expand, the plant took steps to accelerate the number of students who want to pursue a career in the automotive industry “At HMMA, we believe in investing in our team members and communities that surround our facility herein Alabama. Our future team members will be absolutely essential to our success and growth, not just as a company, but as a community partner. We have always felt that success and learning go hand in hand, and we are delighted to be able to be a part of this exciting learning opportunity,” said Robert Burns, Chief Administrative Officer, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

“Preparing our youth for the workforce for tomorrow is a top priority for the Autauga County Commission,” said Autauga County Commission Chairman Jay Thompson.  “Companies are using Virtual Reality to change and improve their manufacturing and allied processes. These VR headsets will help to ensure Autauga County students have the tools necessary to be better prepared to enter the workforce. Thank you to our partners at CentralAlabamaworks for supporting workforce development and educational opportunities in Autauga County. Together we are creating a stronger workforce for our industries and businesses.” 

“We have to have a workforce that’s ready to build cars,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce and AIDT Executive Director, Ed Castile. “Shortly Alabama will be the second most auto producing state in the country behind Michigan.”

The Modern Manufacturing Program utilizes industry leadership to design career pathways that meet industry needs and improve the talent pipeline.  Instructors not only teach manufacturing principles, but call on local and regional manufacturers to be in the classroom.  Students can receive up to seven stackable credentials in the multi-year program available to students in grades 10-12.

“The Modern Manufacturing Pilot Program blends the classroom skills needed for success with input from automotive leaders so that we know these students have the right training, know what to expect, and will be ready to succeed in the workplace,” said Gindi Prutzman, Central AlabamaWorks Executive Director. “We seek to bring industry and education together as often as possible, and this program does just that.”



Central AlabamaWorks! is a non-profit organization established to work throughout Region 5, a thirteen-county workforce region in Central Alabama including the following counties: Autauga, Bullock, Chambers, Coosa, Dallas, Elmore, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Perry, Russell, and Tallapoosa. The mission of Central AlabamaWorks! is to facilitate a system that provides business and industry with job seekers and students who have received the education and training that aligns with their needs throughout the region.