June | 2020
Evonik opens advanced biomaterials facility in Birmingham with expansion
By Made in Alabama
German-based Evonik announced today that it has successfully commissioned an advanced biomaterials facility in Birmingham that will support global demand for the use of its RESOMER-brand bioresorbable polymers with implantable medical devices and parenteral drug products.

The expansion will also allow Evonik to provide contract manufacturing services to customers seeking to outsource production of their own proprietary biomaterials. “Birmingham is now a global center of excellence for the design, development and supply of biomaterials,” said John Daly, site manager at Evonik Birmingham Laboratories.

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:
MBUSI COVID-19 relief activities valued at $500,000
By Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI)
MBUSI Team Members and the plant have been busy the past few weeks with COVID-19 relief activities. Once all donations are complete, the plant expects to have donated more than $500,000 in funds, goods and services to area non-profits and healthcare agencies in Alabama. MBUSI cancelled its planned MBUSI Family Day/Open House and there are plans to contribute $80,000 from that event to our local United Way agencies and their 211 Crisis Funds to help families who are struggling to pay their bills. The United Way of West Alabama and the United Way of Central Alabama will receive these funds in the coming weeks.
President and CEO Michael Goebel said, “The COVID-19 pandemic is placing an incredible amount of strain on families and on the nonprofits and groups trying to assist them in making ends meet. We are all connected and we have to pull together to help get this community through this crisis.”
“United Way of West Alabama established the West Alabama COVID-19 Community Response Fund (WACRF) in response to our  2-1-1 Helpline  calls for assistance with basic necessities (food, rent and utilities) increasing by 400% due to the COVID-10 crisis,” said United Way President and CEO, Jackie Wuska. “Most of the increase in 2-1-1 Helpline calls are coming from individuals who never asked for help and, for the first time ever, find themselves unable to work and make their mortgage or utility payments.”

Wuska continued to say, “Thus far, our funding awards to individuals and families have ranged from $180 - $920. Mercedes-Benz U.S. International’s generous gift in support of our WACRF will enable us to help many more families during these stressful times and go a long way to provide much needed hope and peace of mind. We are so grateful for Mercedes’ support and all they do to help our community no matter the extent of the need.”
Other Planned In-Kind Donations to be made by MBUSI include:
  • DCH Hospitals in Tuscaloosa and Northport – 18 ventilator boxes and 2,000 N100 sewn masks created by the MPS team. The hospital provided the material and Team Members sewed the masks in our Continuous Improvement Shop.
  • The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency - 80,000 surgical masks, 12,000 N95 washable masks, and 30 N95 masks, to first responders and medical personnel in the region.
  • Bibb County Emergency Management Agency – 10,000 surgical masks and 1,000 N95 washable masks to protect healthcare workers.
  • Alabama Department of Public Health – 100,000 surgical masks and 7,000 N95 washable masks.
  • UAB Hospital - 20,000 surgical masks, 5,500 N95 washable masks, and 12 ventilator boxes to protect healthcare workers.
  • The Alabama Productivity Center received 600 Face Shield headbands to be distributed to healthcare workers at DCH and UAB hospitals.
OTHER COVID-19 Relief Activities
Community Foundation of West Alabama
MBUSI directed the Community Foundation of West Alabama to use $100,000 we invested with them more than a decade ago to benefit six organizations to help provide critical needs to individuals and families impacted by COVID-19. Eligible families can go to these organizations and apply for grants to cover bills, get food vouchers and get other services. Checks are being distributed this week :
o    United Way of West Alabama ($40,000)
o   Temporary Emergency Services of West Alabama ($15,000)
o   West Alabama Food Bank ($10,000)
o   Community Service Programs of West Alabama ($10,000)
o   American Red Cross / American Red Cross West Alabama Chapter ($10,000)
o   Tuscaloosa City and Tuscaloosa County Schools ($15,000)
LifeSouth Community Blood Centers
  • Two blood drives held at MBUSI in late March and early April to meet critical blood shortages in our community. Stay tuned for more blood drive details.
By Marketsgermany.com
Site Selection magazine has named Germany the world‘s best country to invest in, ahead of the United Kingdom and Australia. It is no coincidence that Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) was chosen as the second best national agency for international investment behind Ireland.

GTAI, Site Selection pointed out, posted a record of 2,062 foreign direct investment projects in 2018. According to a study carried out by Ernst & Young, investment in German startups rose by 36% year-on-year, reaching €6.2 billion euros in 2019.

Airbus Officially Opens its A220 Production Facility in Mobile, AL
By Airbus
Airbus has officially begun aircraft production in a newly completed assembly hangar at their Mobile site. The new 270,000-square-foot facility - for assembly of   A220  aircraft - is officially open for business. It houses five primary assembly stations where an aircraft is transformed from major component assemblies into an aircraft, using a flowline process.

Airubs has also started production of the first   U.S.-built  A220 for  JetBlue Airways .
JetBlue, the second customer to be served by the Mobile team, is scheduled to receive the aircraft in Q4 2020.

Alabama automakers adopt COVID-19 safety measures as production ramps up
By Made In Alabama

Alabama automakers have been ramping up production following the COVID-19 outbreak, with strict new protocols in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

At  Mercedes-Benz U.S. International  in Tuscaloosa County, production restarted in late April. The automaker said it had monitored and learned from other Mercedes plants around the world as Alabama workers returned, and the facility also implemented safety practices gleaned from groups like the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
Measures adopted include the mandatory wearing of face masks, temperature checks at entry and separation of workers in break rooms, cafes and common areas.
Production at the plant was suspended this past week due to supplier delays in Mexico, but it is expected to resume this week. MBUSI will also produce during the planned summer shutdown.
“We will continue to monitor federal and state guidance and regulations throughout this ramp up period, and will make whatever changes as may become necessary to ensure our team members’ safety and to ensure the required production capacities of the highly demanded SUV models coming out of Alabama,” the automaker said in a statement.

German-American Friendship
The German-American friendship has a long history. The "Treaty of Amity and Commerce" between the US and Prussia was ratified on May 17 in 1786.

President Washington was represented by Thomas Jefferson, and the treaty was signed by him, John Adams & Benjamin Franklin.  
Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:
Say "Spargelzeit" to a German and their face lights up. This is the time of the year when Germans feast on "Spargel" - white asparagus. Germans go crazy for the white asparagus. It's been called the 'vegetable of kings,' 'edible ivory,' or simply 'white gold.' Whilst the green variety is available all year round, the seasonal white variety grows only during 'Spargelzeit' (asparagus season) which lasts from mid-April to mid or late June. More white asparagus is eaten in Germany than anywhere else in the world (except Switzerland) - around 1.7 kilograms/3.7 lbs of asparagus were consumed per capita in Germany last year.   

German Films
Finding new German films, documentaries, and TV shows has never been easier thanks to a new partnership between Telescope Film, German Films, and KINO Germany Now!

Telescope Film's new microsite is full of recommendations for top German film & TV shows that you might not have heard of before along with info on where to stream them in the US. Browse titles here:  telescopefilm.com/germanfilms

Update About the Consulate General's Services
It is a challenging time for all of us. As we all try to keep up with the constant developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak here is some resources that can provide information and assistance: 

For the State of Alabama:

Governor Ivey has worked with various partners to develop two critical COVID-19 sites for Alabamians to get all of their COVID-19 answers.

The Alabama Department of Commerce have, in collaboration with state and federal partners, assembled a comprehensive list of resources related to the COVID-19 response to assist Alabama employers and workers.

AlabamaWorks, a network of interconnected providers of workforce services, including all of the governmental, educational, and private sector components that train, prepare, and match job seekers with employers, is actively engaged with state agencies and business and industry throughout Alabama to be a resource for employers, employees and those who may now be unemployed. 

The Alabama SBDC Network, a statewide resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs, is hosting frequent webinars and providing technical assistance to small businesses regarding SBA’s Disaster Loan program and the new Paycheck Protection Program. Upcoming and On-Demand webinars are posted at the top of the website.

ATN - Alabama Technology Network have release Return to Work Guide for Business .

List of Federal Resources:

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

US Department of Labor

US Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Small Business Administration – Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

For German Nationals in Alabama:

For emergency services for consular matters – please the German Consulate General (Atlanta) via email info@atlanta.diplo.de or call (404) 659-4760. All public access is suspended.

Or the Honorary Consul for Alabama, Michael Johnson via email: mhjohnson@bakerdonelson.com  or call  ( 205) 250.8335.

AlabamaGermany Partnership:

You can continue to reach us by phone: (205) 341-7880 or email:  director@alabamagermany.org . We are NOT open for appointments.

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