AlabamaGermany Partnership   
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In This Issue
Recap of AGP Study Trip to Germany
Grand Opening of Gerhardi
AGP Stammtisch
Job Impulse
Brand New AGP Website
Work Hard. Play Hard
The U.S. Military in Germany
Ein bisschen Spaß

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July 19-21
Dauphin Island

July 19-28


August 9-18

August 16-17

August 17

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Recap of AGP Study Trip to Germany
by Bobby Ingram, AGP Chair

AGP Delegation in front of Berlin Wall Memorial

Tour of Airbus Hamburg production

If you weren't able to participate in the 2019 Alabama Germany Partnership Study Trip to Germany, you really missed a tremendous opportunity for learning so much about German education, culture and industry. The trip provided us with deep insights and critical understandings, and our sponsors and hosts were exceptionally gracious.

We began our trip with a reception in Berlin on Wednesday, June 19th. We saw some familiar faces and some new ones as well. Our delegation was comprised of a well-balanced cross section of industry, academia and state and governmental representatives.

The delegation's outings started with a visit to the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. We were welcomed by Professor Dr. Andreas Zaby, President of the Berlin School of Economics and Law, as well as the chair of UAS7, a country-wide consortium of seven leading German Universities of Applied Sciences. This visit included several presentations by experts in their fields with a focus on the German approach to apprenticeships and technical education. As you can imagine, we had many questions. They even treated us to lunch in their cafeteria.

The next stop was cultural in nature. The group visited the Berlin Wall Museum and an area which included a preserved portion of The Wall. This was a somber but important visit.
Afterwards, the US Embassy welcomed us with a detailed briefing of current US-Germany relations. The insights provided were of particular interest and gave valuable perspective to the information we hear from most news sources. The embassy is located next to the picturesque and historically rich Brandenburg Gate.
Over the next two days, we spent time with a number of Berlin organizations including:
  • a briefing and tour of Berlin Partner, a startup ecosystem and electromobility incubator,
  • a briefing and tour of MotionLab Berlin, a coworker and makerspace for young entrepreneurs in Berlin Kreuzberg
  • a tour of the Bundestag Parliament
  • Meeting with Kevin Heidenreich, Director of Foreign Trade, Development Policy for DIHK, Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • cultural site visits to the DDR (Former East Germany) Museum and Checkpoint Charlie

Grand Opening of GERHARDI in Montgomery 
by Tine Hoffmeister, AGP

On Wednesday, July 10, we attended the grand opening of German automotive supplier Gerhardi's first North American facility. 

Fredy Franke, CEO of Gerhardi Inc., recalls breaking ground in Montgomery two years ago on a hot and humid day in July. That day he promised himself that the grand opening would be a more pleasant affair. He fulfilled that promised on Wednesday inside their beautiful and colorful air conditioned facility; the facility is the result of a $41.5 million investment that is expected to create 235 jobs. 

Rienhard Hoffman, Managing Director, said Gerhardi is excited to launch operations at the state-of-the-art injection molding, electroplating and assembly plant in Alabama's capital city. Gerhardi's products include radiator grilles, injection-molded handles, and chrome trim. 

Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, joked about Gerhardi being almost as old as the United States. The company, founded in 1796, originally manufactured brass buckles. It modernized and focused on the auto industry in the 1950s. The company first announced its plans in 2016. Secretary Canfield said Gerhardi is a world-class addition to the state's robust network of auto suppliers.

Gerhardi is headquartered in Lüdenscheid, Germany. It employs approximately 1,400 workers at four production plants throughout Germany with annual sales totaling approximately $200 million, according to the Montgomery Chamber.

AGP Stammtisch

Join us for our monthly AGP "Stammtisch":

Tuesday, August 6
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Brät Brot, Birmingham

What does "Stammtisch" mean? A Stammtisch is an informal group meeting held on a regular basis, and also the usually large table around which the group meets. A Stammtisch is not a structured meeting, but rather a friendly and casual get-together.

This is a great opportunity for German expats to meet and for other German speaking/practicing to improve your German. Speaking German is encouraged but not required. We meet every first Tuesday of the month.  REGISTER HERE! 

Ribbon Cutting of German Staffing Company's New Office

Job Impulse, an experienced international personnel staffing provider with German roots invites you to visit their new office space in Huntsville. The company was founded in 2006 in Wiesbaden, Germany, and first entered the US with an office in Greenville, SC, in 2013.  Please join us for their ribbon cutting of their brand new offices in Huntsville:

August 1, 2019
3:00 p.m. 
Job Impulse in Huntsville
Today Job Impulse maintain over 50 sites in 13 countries with more than 9,000 employees worldwide. They find personnel solutions that are precisely tailored to the needs of both companies and employees, with the highest professionalism and the best contacts in many branches of industry and commercial sectors. Their motto says, "We bring people to their destination".

Please contact them for directions and to let them know you plan to participate in the festivities. We are proud to have them as an AGP member. 

A Brand New AGP Website! 

We are about the relaunch our website with a brand new and fresher look. You will still be able to find all the information at www.AlabamaGermany.org.  

The new site will be easier to navigate with a modern interface, and clean design.   A couple of examples of improvements we have made: 
  • The site will be fully responsive, which means that it will be viewable and accessible on your desktop, tablet, or phone.
  • We have added more valuable content, including:
    • a page dedicated to Apprenticeship and Internship Opportunities with German companies in Alabama
    • a page for German expats and Exchange students to share their experiences 
    • An overview of Job Opportunities with German Companies
  • The modern hosting platform will allow for more timely updates.
  • And so much more...

For current AGP members in good standing, you will be able to access a password protected "Member Information" page where you can find printable list of German companies in Alabama, access contact information for fellow AGP members and more. 


Work Hard, Play Hard
by GermanyinUSA.com

According to an OECD study, Germans worked 1,363 hours per year, which is overall less than most other countries. However, German productivity was higher than in many countries. The average GDP per head, divided by the hours worked, was valued at $105.70 in Germany, which is $4 more than in the US. Meanwhile, Americans worked 400 hours more than Germans each year, according to the same study.

The U.S. Military in Germany
By Deutschland.de

Since the end of the Second World War, members of the U.S. forces have been stationed at various locations in Germany. Having numbered 246,875 soldiers in total in 1985 (in other words six years before the end of the Cold War), by December 2018 the figure had fallen to 35,220. Alongside the active servicemen and women, there are now also 440 members of the reserves and the National Guard, as well as 11,096 civilian employees of the U.S. Army in the country. Germany therefore hosts by far the biggest contingent of American troops in Europe.

After the end of the Second World War their presence was underpinned by the law of occupation, but now the legal basis is the so-called Convention on the Presence of Foreign Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany, which was concluded in October 1954 between Germany and eight other signatories. The soldiers' rights and obligations, which include numerous privileges and immunities, among other things, are set out in the NATO Status of Forces Agreement of 1951, as well as the Supplementary Agreement of 1959.

Read Deutschland.de's full story here! 

Ein bisschen Spaß