April 2021
AGP Conversation with Goethe-Zentrum in Atlanta
Join us for a talk with Goethe-Zentrum in Atlanta:

Tuesday, April 6, 2021
12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

We will be joined by German native and newly appointed Executive Director, Oliver Dorf. He will share his journey and plans for the Center. Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta aims to build lasting ties between German-speaking people and people of the southeastern United States. We will learn more about how they do that through their language and cultural programming. The talk will also include how AlabamaGermany Partnership has worked with the center in the past and today.

AGP Let's Talk Cuckoo Clocks and more...
Join us for a talk with the local shop owner of A Touch of German, in Cullman:

Tuesday, April 20, 2021
12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

Judi Caples will share her story about how her German mother’s journey placed her Alabama, and how she grew up in a household filled with German traditions. She will take us on a tour of her gift store “A Touch of German”. We will get to talk a lot about German cuckoo clocks and how the world seems to have a special fascination and love for them.
It will be a fun talk. Don’t miss it.  

AGP Young Professionals
SAVE THE DATE for AGP Young Professionals upcoming webinar with AGP member I.K. Hofmann USA:

Thursday, April 22, 2021
5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST
ZOOM Webinar

This will be a talk about resumes and CVs, their differences with one another as well as the differences between US and German styles. Additionally, we’ll go over interview tips and techniques for landing a job in the current environment. Registration will open soon.

I.K. Hofmann GmbH, was founded in Germany in 1985 and has established more than 100 international branch offices in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, UK, Italy, Slovakia, and the United States.

As an International Staffing Agency and an ISO 9001 certified organization, I.K. Hofmann has built a reputation for delivering the highest levels of service and quality for its clients and talents. 

We are excited to announce the date for AGP's 23rd Annual Celebration Dinner. The Celebration normally takes place this month but for obvious reasons, we have decided to wait until early summer. Please save the date:
Thursday, June 17, 2021
5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Region's Field in Birmingham

More information to follow soon. Sponsorship registration will be opened soon but in the meantime feel free to contact us at director@alabamagermany.org for more information.

Dankeschön to our PATRON Members:
SWJ TECHNOLOGY opens Alberta Technology Center
Great news from our AGP member and German company SWJ TECHNOLOGY!

Their construction is finished, and the doors are officially open at SWJ TECHNOLOGY’s new USMCA headquarter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The new facility spans more than 7000 square feet on a three-acre site near the Alberta School of Performing Arts and the Gateway digital library. The company will move its North American headquarters, the regional office for Alabama as well as equipment services, rapid prototyping, and its metrology lab to the new facility.

SWJ TECHNOLOGY’s new facility will foster economic development opportunities for the local community, team member development, and training and is set to create new job opportunities through its expansion. It will also have its own engineering workshop, operated by the subsidiary NGE EQUIPMENT, offering various solutions, such as advanced measurement and prototyping services, assembly of innovative specialty tools, equipment, and handhelds, which will support and integrate into manufacturing operations.

Through the Alberta Technology Center, SWJ envisions increasing its current footprint in innovative cloud-based online engineering systems to provide value-added technologies in addition to its traditional industrial engineering services. SWJ has made plans to grow its internship and apprenticeship programs, support young professionals, and maintain its status as an attractive employer for graduates from local colleges and universities.

Brose Tuscaloosa Makes IndustryWeek Best Plants Finalist
By IndustryWeek
Congratulations to AGP member and German company Brose Tuscaloosa for being among IndustryWeek's Best Plants six finalists. The winner will be announced later this year.

Six U.S. manufacturing plants showcase key components of operational excellence: a collaborative, team-based approach, engaged leadership, an unrelenting desire to improve, and robust performance measures.

IndustryWeek has reached the halfway point in its latest search for these showcase facilities. Following a rigorous Round 1 judging process, six manufacturing plants across the United States have been chosen as finalists in the 2020 IW Best Plants Awards competition. These factories are geographically diverse, representing six different states. The products they make are equally diverse, ranging from food-grade packaging and pharmaceuticals to seat structure assemblies, shrink film, forklift trucks, and load centers, and safety switches.

Job Opportunities at German Companies in Alabama
Did you know you can find great job opportunities at German companies represented in Alabama on our website?

Here is a couple of examples of open positions listed:

Process Engineer, abatAdah Group, Inc.
Bookkeeper/Accounting Manager, Rödl & Partner USA
German Teacher, Vestavia Hills City Schools
Assembly Series Planning Engineer, SWJ TECHNOLOGY, LLC
Logistics Coordinator, Heiche US Surface Technologies (AL) LLC

Germany Leads the Way in Birmingham Foreign Direct Investment
By Birmingham Business Alliance
According to the Birmingham Business Alliance, German-based companies have the strongest presence in Birmingham with 28 companies,

German-based companies have grown tremendously over the past few years, said the Birmingham Business Alliance’s Vice President of Economic Development Jeff Traywick. ThyssenKrupp Materials announced its first location in the Birmingham region in 2012, and, in 2016, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International announced several major expansions that would launch the company into manufacturing electric vehicles. MollerTech also announced its presence in the region in 2016, and Heiche US Surface Technology LP announced an expansion in the region.

Four of the 28 German companies with a presence in Birmingham – Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Eissman Automotive, Evonik Industries, and WKW Erbsloeh Automotive – have brought nearly 2,000 jobs and over $613 million to the region.

Aerospace Alabama
Made in Alabama & SelectUSA hosted a very successful online webinar "How European Aerospace Companies writing Success Stories in the American Market".

Aerospace experts talked about their personal experience in the USA especially Alabama. Experiences about building a business, but also how to win American customers in the Aerospace and Defense industry. 

Welcome by
- John McCaslin, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs & Regional Senior Commercial Officer U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany.
- Greg Canfield, Secretary of Commerce for the State of Alabama

Dr. Ulrich Weber. COO, Premium-Aerotec.
He has been with AIRBUS for over 20 years, he was responsible for building up the AIRBUS plant in Alabama from 2012 - 2016, having previously been the head of the Hamburg site and then responsible for building up the assembly line in China. After several years as COO at PFW Aerospace, he is now Chief Operating Officer at Premium AEROTEC.

Sebastian Thoele, Managing Director, Winkelmann MSR Technology GmbH & Co. KG in Ahlen.
He is responsible for business development at the Ahlen (Germany) and Auburn (Alabama) sites. Previously, he spent 17 years in various positions at a Tier1 automotive supplier. Since 2017, Winkelmann has had a branch office in Auburn, Alabama.

Christoph Doerr, European Office Director, Alabama Department of Commerce

Doing the webinar, Dr. Weber shared that AIRBUS was very impressed by the overwhelming support in Alabama and Mobile, from the developers at all levels. The interactions and cooperation with the state, the City of Mobile, the Mobile Airport Authority, the Chamber of Commerce, Alabama Power, and all in between were at a level that Dr. Weber rarely had experienced before. In addition, AIDT was a great help in the search and training of excellent employees that were needed to set up the AIRBUS plant. Another component for the success and the decision for Alabama. Especially in the start-up of the production, but also now as a permanent very good support for the workforce. He further stated that for European companies that want to be successful in the large American market, it will not work in the long run with just a rep office in the USA. The growth that AIRBUS has experienced in the USA can only be achieved if the company is also perceived as an American producer. He pointed out that the current crisis makes it difficult for suppliers to decide to invest abroad. But especially in such a crisis, it is important to be also in the area of the customer. In summary, Dr. Weber has been with AIRBUS for over 30 years, and his time in Alabama was some of the best years of his professional life.

Winkelmann chose to establish in the U.S. because there are a large Space and Defense market here compared to Europe. Globalization has meant that you must be on-site with your customers to be successful. Alabama was not on the original site selection list but was suggested by a mechanical engineering company friend. On Winkelmann's first visit to Alabama, they were impressed with how professional they were received and cared for. Plus skilled workforce coming out of the university and a strong knowledge/presence of 3D Printing. This was all the deciding factor for the decision of Auburn. The investment in Alabama has also led to benefit the parent company, which is now perceived much more strongly globally. Mr. Thoele was very impressed that although Winkelmann is a small company, they were so well supported despite the size of the company, it was made clear how important Winkelmann is to the state of Alabama.

Dankeschön to our SUSTAINING Members:
AGP Welcomes a New Board Member
The AlabamaGermany Partnership (AGP) is excited and honored to announce that Ron Kitchens, CEO of Birmingham Business Alliance will be joining the AGP board of directors.

We are delighted to welcome Ron to the board who will bring diverse expertise and insight to our organization. We look forward to working with him 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.

Auburn University and Technische Universität München have announced a strategic partnership in Indy Autonomous Challenge
After three rounds of competition Auburn University’s Autonomous Tiger Racing is currently Top 3 in the standings of the Indy Autonomous Challenge. Rounds that have included white papers, performance of passenger vehicles, and race simulations against other teams. The competition is fierce. 
Thirty teams started the competition for a million-dollar prize. The challenge; to race a Dallara Indy Lights car head-to-head in competition around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway famed 2.5-mile oval at top speed. That could mean lap average speeds upwards to 200mph. The race length is 20 laps and while that’s well short of 500, for the current autonomous technology, it’s every bit as big.
The Indy Autonomous Challenge is designed to inspire the best and the brightest from universities around the world. The goal is to imagine, invent and prove a new generation of automated vehicle software and inspire the next generation of STEM talent. The focus is on the software. 
The Indy Lights race cars will be specially equipped with the latest sensors – LiDAR, GPS-INS, computer vision cameras, radar, and vehicle sensors. Teams must design a software stack that not only allows an Indy Lights car to travel at race pace but interpret influence of the draft and the movements of its competitors. 

Auburn and Technische Universität München (Technical University of Munich – TUM) have announced a strategic partnership. They will be performing joint testing and data collection, but each team will still be competing independently in the competition. TUM’s team will spend the summer in Auburn for development and testing. In exchange, TUM will be sharing a portion of their software stack. In the spirit of camaraderie, they cannot wait to celebrate together in victory lane! TUM is the only German team.

AlabamaGermany Partnership is working on an event to take place over the summer where our members get to meet the two teams and see their autonomous cars before the race in October.

Alabama can be very proud as we are represented by TWO UNIVERSITIES! The University of Alabama is also the challenge with their team Crimson Autonomous Racing (CAR). They placed 2nd in the first competitive event and 1st in the most recent competitive event. They have recently reached an agreement to partner with the PoliMove team from Italy.

20 High School Students in Alabama win place on National German Exam Honor Roll
20 students in Alabama have been awarded medals and special recognition on the National German Exam Honor Roll for outstanding performance on the 2021 National German Exam for High School Students.

Over 8,000 students participated in the exam this year. The National German Exam, now in its 61st year, rewards students through an extensive prize program and provides a means of comparing students in all regions of the US. Doug Philipp, German teacher, and AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) President said, "The outstanding performance of these German students in our national competition brings honor to their school, their district, and their German program. The AATG salutes their tremendous accomplishment and the great work their teachers do.

Please help us congratulate the students and their dedicated German teachers from :

  • Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile
  • James Clements High School in Madison
  • Vestavia Hills High School in Vestavia/Birmingham
Vestavia Hills High School:
In the large group photo (left to right): Maribel Johnson (Gold), Riley Newsome (Gold), Josephine Spencer (Silver), Hope Johnson (Bronze), Mary Natalie Lenoir (Achievement), and Virginia Dove (Achievement)

In the other photo (left to right): Cate Kramer (Silver) and Christina Sorochinksy (Gold)

Not pictured: Samina Holloway (Bronze), Raven Savage (Bronze), other achievement award winners: April Berry, Kirandeep Kauer, Molly Franklin, Elina Shah, Virginia Turpin, Katherine Morrison, Elizabeth Parker & the German teachers: Laura Buder, Serena Duncan, and Tracey Patterson.

Alabama the Beautiful
The Magical Night Hike In Alabama That Everyone Should Take At Least Once

Alabama offers a variety of hiking trails. While some of these trails are intended to be explored during daytime hours, others can be taken at night too. One of the best trails in Alabama to hike at night is located at Dismals Canyon.

Dismals Canyon is a beautiful sandstone gorge that's located in the tiny North Alabama town of Phil Campbell. It's one of the state's true hidden gems. Covering approximately 85 acres, Dismals Canyon became a National Natural Landmark in 1975. It's a must-visit for all ages.

From moss-covered boulders to breathtaking waterfalls, you'll encounter lots of natural scenic beauty while exploring this historic canyon. The most unique feature of Dismals Canyon is that it's one of the few places in the world where rare insects called dismalites (glowworms) live.

During daylight hours, visitors can follow the canyon's 1.5-mile hiking trail that meanders through the beautiful canyon. During nighttime hours, Dismals Canyon offers something truly special - a dismalite night tour. This guided night tour, which allows visitors to see dismalites up close, is currently taking place on Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. A visit to Dismals Canyon, whether day or night, is the perfect outdoor activity for everyone. Don't forget to add this magical place to your summer bucket list. You'll love it!

New AGP Members
Please help us welcome our new members:


Insured Nomads

Andrew Jernigan

Insured Nomads is the first insurtech in global benefits, offering a full portfolio of insurance solutions for the globally mobile including international health, life and disability, and travel insurance. Uniquely positioned with innovative technology to empower an easy and efficient customer experience. Serving clients around the world, with numerous customer service points, we operating a lean and agile enterprise with strategic partners around the globe including Germany.


Capabilitix LLC

Maike DeMaria

At Capabilitix, we believe there is a more personal way to do business. A more valuable, less invasive way where we earn friends and partners, not just customers. We are obsessively passionate about it; our mission is to help our friends and partners achieve. Capabilitix focuses on building relationships and ensuring our partners understand the complexities of Alabama’s market and why it’s different from others around the country. Small town charm, a hint of southern hospitality mixed in with a growing local economy, Capabilitix will help you navigate and be successful. Your success is our success.

Learn more at https://capabilitix.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 are 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! 


Chancellor Angela Merkel has shown her frustration with state leaders on a prime-time German talk show. It's a sign that things aren't going well for her party's electoral prospects — or the country's pandemic outlook. It has been a year of emergency meetings between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her counterparts who lead Germany's 16 states. Often long, late, and argumentative, their increasingly confusing outcomes have become symbolic of, and a cause for, shortcomings in Germany's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Merkel, who has usually favored tougher measures than many of the state leaders, last week's meeting with them was the last straw.

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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