Alabama to Build $30 Million EV Tech Workforce Training Hub

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Announced Facility Located on AIDT Campus
Alabama Mercedes Benz facility
Workers at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International facility in Vance, Ala. (William Thornton/ via TNS)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

A $30 million workforce training center focused on electric vehicle technology will be built in Decatur, Ala.

Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement the morning of Nov. 27. The facility will be located on the campus of the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, Alabama Industrial Development Training’s $73 million training center.

AIDT Director Ed Castile said the center could occupy up to 40,000 square feet at Robotics Park and be operational in 18 to 24 months.

Goodwyn Mills Cawood is designing the new training center to be expandable, with the ability to reconfigure to meet future demands.

“Alabama is already a recognized leader in workforce development, and this training center concentrating on EVs and new technologies will add an important dimension to our capabilities,” Ivey said in a statement. “This investment shows that we’re fully committed to making Alabama an even greater force in the global auto industry in the future.”

Castile, a deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said the center will be focused on preparing the state’s automakers for the transition to electric powertrains.

“We just want to make sure we have a workforce that has the ability to thrive in this new environment, so it’s a natural extension of what we do at Robotics Park,” Castile said.

The Alabama Legislature approved funding for the new training center during its last session through a bill sponsored by Alabama state Sen. Arthur Orr (R).

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing above or go here for more info

AIDT and the Alabama Commerce Department are developing programs for the new training center using information gathered during visits to EV battery factories in Japan and Europe. A technical committee composed of auto industry leaders is assisting.

The Alabama Mobility and Power Center at the University of Alabama, the Alabama Community College System and the state’s K-12 school system are also involved in the effort.

“The auto industry is being confronted by the strong headwinds of disruptive technologies today, and it’s vital that we’re prepared to help Alabama’s autoworkers adapt to the industry’s shifting directions,” Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said.

Mercedes-Benz has pumped more than $1 billion into its Alabama operations toward electric vehicle and battery production, and Hyundai rolled out its first electric vehicle there earlier this year.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC