February /2019
  AlabamaGermany Partnership   
1900 International Park Drive, Suite 105     Birmingham   AL 35243

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In This Issue
AGP Annual Celebration Dinner
AGP Business Forum
Jason Hoff's New Position
CBYX German Students
Wallace State Singers Germany Tour
German Expat in Alabama

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:



What to do in Alabama

Now to February 23

Now to March 5

February 16

February 18

February 23 - March 23

February 24
Orange Beach

March 1-3
 54th Anniversary 

March 3-31

March 8-10

Please note that the dates are shared to the best of our knowledge. If you plan to attend any of the events - please make sure to check information directly with the host of the event. Thank you! 

Save the Dates
AGP's New Members
Mercedes-Benz's Technician and Mechatronics apprenticeship programs

Applications are open for the Mercedes-Benz's Technician and Mechatronics apprenticeship programs. The co-op option is now available through Bevill State or Wallace State. Candidates have until March 31, 2019 to apply. The programs start in August 2019. For more information on how to apply, click here and then "Careers" and check the left column and the program of interest.

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:




Events & Seminars Offered by AGP Members
Executive Committee
AGP Resources
Contact Us
Join Our List
AGP 21st Annual Celebration Dinner

Registration OPEN for AlabamaGermany Partnership's 21st Annual Celebration Dinner: 

Thursday, March 7, 2019 
5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
Region's Field in  Birmingham 

Program starts at 5:30 pm with Reception, Networking and Silent Auction, followed by Dinner Program 7:00 p.m.:

Greetings from Birmingham:
Mayor Woodfin
City of Birmingham

Special remarks by: 
Dr. Ursina Krumpholz
Head of the Economic and Business Section
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Greg Canfield
Secretary of Commerce for the State of Alabama

Keynote Speaker:
Jonathan Porter
Chair of 2021 World Games Birmingham

Dinner program will also include Rainer Bauer Award Presentation, New & Expanding German Companies Awards, and Dr. Barbara Fischer Education Award. 


Thank you to our Exclusive Star Presenter: 

AGP Business Forum - Filling the Workforce Gap

Join us as we explore strategies to fill the skilled worker gap, especially in manufacturing. Can apprenticeships train the workforce of the future? Are career fairs productive? Are we overlooking potential workforce? Can you teach soft skills? 

These and many other questions will be answered and discussed at AGP's dynamic business forum. 

Friday, February 8, 2019
8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Birmingham Business Alliance

Opening Remarks by: 

Dr. Ursina Krumpholz,  Minister-Counselor
Head of the Economic and Business Section
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Remarks by: 

Jeff Lynn, Vice Chancellor Workforce & Economic  Development 
Alabama Community College System

Nicole Heimann, Director of Skills Initiative 
German American Chamber of Commerce South

During lunch the German American Chamber of Commerce will share their German-American Business Outlook 2019 report. 
MBUSI President/CEO Jason Hoff new position as Head of Quality Management at Mercedes-Benz Cars Worldwide
Daimler AG Press Release

Jason Hoff, currently Head of Production SUV/Sports Cars and President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), will be the new Head of Quality Management at Mercedes-Benz Cars worldwide, effective on July 1, 2019.

Jason Hoff has been Head of SUV/Sports Cars Production and President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) since 2013. Previously, he was responsible for procurement of interior components for the Mercedes-Benz C- and E-Class sedan in Stuttgart, Germany. Prior to his assignment in Germany, he held various management positions at MBUSI, including Vice President Logistics and Head of Assembly and Procurement.

Michael Göbel will be the new Head of SUV/Sports Cars Production and President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), the U.S. production plant of Mercedes-Benz Cars in Tuscaloosa/Alabama, effective July 1, 2019. Thus Göbel returns to his former place of work: At the beginning of 2008, he was the Head of Planning at the Tuscaloosa plant. Göbel began his career at Daimler in 1990 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim and moved to Rastatt in 1994. From 1998 to 2007, Michael Göbel held various management positions in production, planning and logistics at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen, Germany, most recently as Head of Assembly. In mid-2014 Michael Göbel took over the management of the global compact car production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars. As President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U. S. International (MBUSI), Michael Göbel will be responsible for the operations of the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama. At the same time, he is the local representative of Daimler and thus the face of the company in the region. In his new position, he will continue to develop the Tuscaloosa site and make it fit for the future, leveraging his many years of production and management experience.

University of West Alabama welcomes CBYX German students
By Ingrid Galinat 

On August 13th, last year, the University of West Alabama welcomed our first Congress-Bundestag German Youth Exchange students for the 2018-2019 year, Stefanie Hecker and Jonathan Maasjost. This was the first time either student had visited the state of Alabama.  Stefanie and Jonathan have been living with American host families in Tuscaloosa, AL and in York, AL. 
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) students spent one semester at the University of West Alabama and are currently working in their field of study.  With the gracious help from the AlabamaGermany Partnership, Stefanie Hecker now works for BOLTA US in Northport, AL.  Jonathan Maasjost began his position on January 7 at Kuehne + Nagel in Miami, FL.
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Department of State.  This program annually provides seventy-five German professionals between the ages of 18½-24 the opportunity to spend one year in the United States, studying, interning, and living with hosts on a cultural immersion program.
If you would be interested in hosting a German student for the August 2019-July 2020 term, please email

Wallace State Singers Germany Tour
By Tine Hoffmeister

The Wallace State Singers will be performing in Germany this spring and invited me to spend time with them to talk about cultural differences. For most of the students, this is their very first trip abroad. To help prepare the students for this amazing experience, we had fun talking about the do's and don'ts while in Germany. There was a lot of laughter and many surprises when talking about small "stuff" that can make a big difference. 

You can catch them perform at Wallace State Community College May 3-5 before they take the performance to Germany (and France). In celebration of Alabama's Bicentennial, Wallace State Fine and Performing Arts will present Stars Fell on Alabama: Music Inspired by a Southern State. It will be a great show with a unique combination of music, dance, literature, and theater. A n original faculty/student artistic collaboration- inspired by and featuring the distinct music of our very own "Alabama the Beautiful."

The trip will take the group to Frankfurt, Heidelberg and to Cullman's sister city Frankweiler. Please help me wish them all a wonderful trip! 

If you would like to learn more about their trip or support their trip you can visit  www.wsccalumni.org/singgermany for more information.

German Expat Family in Alabama
By Annette & Max Lattermann (mother & son)

"Alabama? Seriously?! Where even is that place? And what would you want to do there?", "Dude just stay here with us, and finish school. I bet their education sucks anyways!" All of these are examples of the way my friends in Germany reacted when I told them that I would move to Birmingham, Alabama. One of them took that as a challenge and started searching the internet for stupid memes making fun of the American south in order to keep me from going. I was on the edge of finishing high school in Heidelberg, Germany and was more or less opposed to my dad's decision to start working in the States for the next couple of years. I felt like I was giving up my entire life by leaving behind everything that I knew. I would not be able to see my friends anymore, nor would I continue high school in the usual setting. Everything would change right before my final exam that I needed to get my High School Diploma, the Abitur. That had been pretty much all I was worried about in terms of future planning at that point: finishing school to the best of my abilities and worrying about all the rest, like universities, internships, and jobs, later. Moving to a new country across the ocean did not fit into that plan at all.

From the very first moment my husband mentioned the idea of applying for a job that included moving to the US for three years, I was thrilled. As a student, I had chosen '(Romance) Languages' at graduate school for a reason: Getting to know other people in different countries, and learning about their way of living, their different habits and opinions had always been a goal in my life, and learning and practicing different languages has always seemed to me the best way to realize it. So far, I had been able to gain that kind of experiences in Europe, maintaining a close relationship to a French family for years, traveling with InterRail as a student, or being granted a semester at a Spanish University. Now, this job offer was now a very different 'cup of tea': three years, the whole family together, my husband in an exciting and demanding job, our children in the American school system, me being responsible for their adjustment at school and in daily life - now, there was the chance to really get to know another country with its people and their way of living first hand and from the very inside for quite a period of time. That sounded so much like excitement and adventure, and I very much hoped the job would come true.