February 2021
AGP Welcome New Board Members
The AlabamaGermany Partnership (AGP) is excited to announce that it has appointed three new directors to the Executive Committee plus the rotation of two existing EC directors into new positions, and the addition of seven new board members.

The following two officers will serve in new positions on the AGP's Executive Committee: 
Three AGP Directors has accepted positions on the AGP executive committee:
We are delighted to welcome such a strong group of new board members who will bring diverse expertise and insight to our organization. We look forward to working with the new directors as we continue our mission “to develop and support relationships between organizations and individuals in Alabama and Germany.”
AGP's Board of Directors serves a three-year term. The organization has grown considerably over the past several years and the service of our board of officers and directors has greatly contributed to this growth. We are very thankful for their hard work and dedication to the organization.

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:
AGP International Holocaust Remembrance Day Webinar
Ann Mollengarden with her father and Holocaust Survivor Robert May

Join us for recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day with our guest speaker Ann Mollengarden from the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center:

Thursday, February 4, 2021
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

Our guest speaker has dedicated her life to educating others about the events of the Holocaust, and in particular, her father’s story as a Holocaust survivor. She has served as the Education Coordinator of the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center (BHEC) since its inception in 2002 and has traveled internationally to continue her studies.

Ann has compiled a 60-minute multi-media presentation, rich with historical detail and familial anecdotes that tell the story of Robert May and his family that lived in Camberg, Germany, just outside of Frankfurt. Join us!

AGP German Business Committee Meeting
AGP welcomes the German Business Committee's new chair, Dr. Wolfgang Kneer with SWJ Technology. Dr. Kneer will take over from the past chair and founder, Albert von Pelser. A heartfelt thank you to Albert von Pelser for his dedication and hard work for the committee.

The committee will meet for the first time this year on:

Wednesday, February 10, 2021
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Via Zoom Conference

They will be joined by John Holmes, Labor & Employment Group, Maynard Cooper Gale. He will address the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out, implications for employers and employees, and the legal aspects of a vaccination policy. The presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion. 
This committee is reserved for leaders of German companies in Alabama. It represents diverse industries and sectors, including manufacturing and services. The committee offers round-table style advice, support, and insight into best practices drawn from their own relevant experiences and provides a platform for its members to share experiences as well as potential networking opportunities.

If you are a leader in a German company based in Alabama and would like to attend the meeting, please email director@alabamagermany.org.

Heiche US Surface Technologies Groundbreaking in Jasper, AL
January 27, 2021, Heiche US Surface Technologies hosted groundbreaking at their new 53,000+ sq feet facility in Jasper. The current buildings will be built-out to more than 100,000 q ft to hold their manufacturing operations. Manufacturing is expected to start by the 3rd quarter this year.

Heiche US is a subsidiary of KAP Surface Technologies. The CEO of KAP Surface Technologies, Nicolai A.J. Baum, arrived from Germany for the groundbreaking.

MBUSI Scholarship Application Program
Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

MBUSI Scholarship Application Program is now open and students can now apply online!

For the past 18 years, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), Inc. has sponsored this program with more than 180 students collectively receiving over $200,000. The program provides ten (10) $2,000 one-time scholarships: five to Alabama high school seniors and five to dependent children of MBUSI Team Members attending a college or vocational school.

Students can now access the application via this link:

Interested students must complete the online application. Your application is not complete unless all required materials are submitted electronically. The application deadline is Tuesday, March 16, 2021, 3:00 p.m. (CT)

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:
USCIS Modifies H-1B Selection
The Dept. of Homeland Security ("DHS") and its U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced a new regulation that will replace the current random and computer-generated H-1B lottery selection system with a new selection system that will allocate H-1B visa numbers based on wage-level.
Under the final rule, USCIS will conduct the H-1B lottery using a wage-based allocation process, giving priority to those being offered H-1B employment in high-paid positions. This means that H-1B lottery Selection Notices will be issued first to people in the highest of four wage levels, according to the prevailing wage system of the Department of Labor's ("DOL). Specifically, USCIS will utilize the DOL's Occupational Employment Statistics ("OES") to assign priority to each of the assigned four levels of prevailing wages.

German Teacher News
German language teacher, Erika Rinker, of The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)recently received the Checkpoint Charlie Award from the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG).

This award recognizes outstanding teachers of German in the US who were not born and raised in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. The award is presented annually to one K–12 and one college/university AATG member who strengthens intercultural understanding.

The award includes a stipend for travel to Berlin to participate in the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation Enrichment Educational Program held in June. Please join us in congratulating Erika on this achievement!

International Travel
Are you considering an international trip?

The CDC has issued a COVID-19 order that may impact your plans for re-entering the United States.

Effective January 26, 2021 travelers arriving in the U.S. must:
1) Get tested for COVID-19 no more than 3 days before departing to the United States and show a negative test result to the airline before boarding OR 2) show documentation of recent recovery from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding.

This new order applies to all air passengers — including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents — aged 2 years and older. It also applies regardless of the length of time spent outside of the United States.

Acceptable documentation of recovery from COVID-19 includes both a positive viral test result within 3 months of travel (or the time period specified in current CDC guidance) AND a letter from a healthcare provider or public health official stating that the passenger is cleared to end isolation. Passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19 will need to delay their travel until they meet the criteria to end isolation; learn more here. Need more information? Visit this FAQ page at CDC.gov.

Traveling to Germany?

Restrictions are in place for entry into Germany from a large number of countries. Those entering Germany from risk areas must complete a digital entry registration form, be tested for coronavirus, and, depending on the regulations of the Land in question, self-isolate.

According to a decision taken by the Federal and Länder Governments, from 2 November to at least 14 February, hotels and other accommodation providers may only offer overnight accommodation to people whose travel is essential. It is no longer permitted to provide overnight accommodation for tourism purposes. Visas for tourism purposes will thus only be issued in exceptional cases. Find more information here.

New AGP Members
Please help us welcome our new members:


Dr. Christoph Klocke

Marta Krol
Key Account

Heiche US Surface Technologies (AL) LLC

Heiche US Surface Technologies is part of the publicly traded KAP AG, and a key component of its surface technologies segment. Within this segment, the KAP Surface Technologies group operates in 10 locations with more than 800 employees. They bring knowledge of the treatment, finishing, coating, and plating processes. Learn more at www.kap-surface.com

As an AGP member, you can connect with them through the AGP membership password-protected database.

Let's welcome YOU as a new member - Join AGP TODAY!

AGP Membership 2021

2021 AGP Membership Renewal Now Open

Thank you for your support as an AlabamaGermany Partnership (AGP) member in 2020! It is so appreciated especially in times like this.
This past year may have thrown us a few curveballs that have affected many of us. It has been unsettling times, to say the least, but we’re still proud of everything we were able to accomplish.
Membership renewals have been sent out and we hope you will renew your membership or become a new member TODAY! Your support will help us deliver new programming and support our ability to connect businesses, organizations, governments, and individuals. Didn’t get your renewal? Email us at director@alabamagermany.org or use the link below to renew.

We are looking forward to a better 2021 with y’all! 


German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said coronavirus vaccines may be needed for "many years to come." "It's similar to the flu vaccine, where you re-vaccinate against the new mutation of the virus every time," Merkel said in Berlin after a top-level meeting on Germany's vaccination campaign on Monday. Merkel added that her government had received the assurances it needed to renew a promise to offer all Germans a coronavirus vaccination by the end of the summer.

The coronavirus pandemic is causing great uncertainty in travel worldwide. There are new rules to be observed everywhere and at all times. This is also the case in Germany. Since December 16, a hard lockdown has been in effect in Germany, which has already been extended for the second time and is now in force until February 14. Despite the lockdown, the borders remain open and entry into Germany is still possible. However, travel in the country is limited to essential travel - such as mandatory business trips, and this does not include vacations. Hotels are not allowed to offer overnight stays for tourist purposes, nor are tourist visas being issued at the moment.

Key Information for Travelers to Germany from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit CDC Website.


We have collected a list of resources that can provide information and assistance during these challenging times. You can find them on our website under Helpful Resources.

AlabamaGermany Partnership:

You can continue to reach us by phone: (205) 341-7880 or email: director@alabamagermany.org.

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