Skip to main content
  (334) 347-2623

Category Archives: Uncategorized



For more information, contact:
Rachel Adams
Communications and Marketing Administrator
(334) 293-4651 

October 15, 2019

MONTGOMERY – A second round of scholarships will be awarded this year for 50 students to train for automotive manufacturing careers at Alabama’s community colleges.

The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association and Alabama Community College System have partnered to provide a total $180,000 in scholarships, as well as mentors, to 50 students who want to pursue a technical education certificate or associate degree in the automotive manufacturing industry. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15.

The first scholarship recipients were awarded earlier this year to start programs this fall. Students awarded after the November deadline will begin classes in the spring, summer or fall semesters of 2020. 

Interested students with at least a 2.5 GPA can learn more information and apply directly through the website, Applicants must use the scholarship toward an automotive-related program, including the following: Automotive Manufacturing Technology; Automotive Manufacturing; Automotive Service Technician; Computer Numerical Control; Engineering Technology; Industrial Electronics Technology; Industrial Maintenance Technology; Injection Molding; Logistics; Machine Shop/Tool Technology; Manufacturing Technology; Mechanical Design Technology; Mechatronics; or Welding Technology.

AAMA President Ron Davis said the scholarship program was designed to build interest in the exciting and rewarding careers the automotive industry offers. 

“The access our scholarship recipients have to mentors in the industry, in addition to the training they’ll receive while studying at an Alabama community college, provides tremendous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing industry,” Davis said. “Our partnership with Alabama’s community colleges is industry and education working together the way they should to help individuals succeed.” 

Jeff Lynn, ACCS’ Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, said the scholarship opportunity complements other work-based learning initiatives in place for community colleges to continually provide world-class training that meets Alabama’s industry needs. Such programs, including the expansion of apprenticeships and internships, add significant value to industry-led training at the community colleges.

“The best advice we receive for how to educate and train an excellent workforce for employers and entrepreneurs is directly from the source – Alabama industry,” Lynn said. “With industry input and continued investment in career and technical training, including scholarships and new programs, the Alabama Community College System is providing what both employees and employers need to succeed.” 

The total award is $3,600 for each student. The award covers tuition, fees and/or books needed. A full submission for the scholarship requires the following: a completed application; a resume; a maximum 500-word essay on why the student wants to work in Alabama’s automotive industry; one signed reference letter; an unofficial college or high school transcript; and a headshot photo.


About AAMA

Since 2001, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has provided awareness of manufacturing trends, techniques and concerns within the automotive manufacturing industry through interaction among automotive companies in Alabama. The association’s mission is to promote growth and continuous improvement of automotive manufacturing in Alabama.

About ACCS

With 24 community colleges in more than 130 locations, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) is Alabama’s gateway to first-class, affordable education and technical training to compete in a constantly evolving workforce. More than 168,000 Alabamians benefit from the various certification, credential, dual enrollment and degree programs ACCS offers alongside leading industry partners. The System includes the Alabama Technology Network, which provides extensive training and service offerings directly to business and industry. ACCS is governed by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees.

First Mechatronics Scholarships Awarded

First Mechatronics Scholarships Awarded

Two students have been awarded the first Mechatronics program scholarships offered at ESCC and sponsored by local businesses.

The Mechatronics program launched this fall at the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark. Mechatronics workers use a combination of mechanical, electrical, and computer/programming skills in a rapidly growing field.

The Rex Lumber Scholarship was awarded to James Leslie. Scholarship recipients who excel in the Mechatronics program may be eligible for a paid internship position within Rex Lumber Company.


The PRIDE Industries Scholarship was awarded to Slate Greene, and is a one-year scholarship awarded to individuals who are planning to enroll at ESCC.

Each scholarship is worth $1,250.

Congratulations to our Sixth Class of Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Graduates!

Congratulations to our Sixth Class of Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Graduates!

We had 10 CDL graduates and our first driver evaluation trainee.

Walter Anderson (Driver Evaluation Trainee)
Stuart Bennett
Timothy Bennett
Armanda Carlisle
John David Daniels
Mary Frazier
David Gilmer
Hikeem Hicks
Brad Jerkins
Kimberly Lara
Brandon Tisdale

We are so proud of you! For many of our graduates, they will be beginning their careers towards a high wage position in the workforce with interviews or employment already lined up. The next class starts August 12. For more information about CDL visit

From physics to professor: Aubri Hanson uses career to fill workforce needs

From physics to professor: Aubri Hanson uses career to fill workforce needs
Aubri Hanson’s career has brought her from NASA to the Alabama Aviation Center, where she is using her knowledge of the workforce to bring a new, needed program to the area.

New mechatronics instructor Hanson began her education after a former employer encouraged her to pursue a degree in electronics.

“He just kind of noticed a talent that I had for electronics,” she said. “He encouraged me to go to college and major in electronics, and I actually did major in electronics for three years. Then, I discovered that I really liked physics.”

Hanson attended college at Pittsburg State University and Kansas State University before attending the University of Southern Mississippi where she received her bachelor’s degree in physics with a minor in electronic engineering technology and mathematics. She also received her master’s degree in physics from USM.

One of her first experiences working with electronics was with a news channel in Kansas. Since then, she has worked for VirCon Engineering Research and Development, Radiance Technologies and NASA.

“Even though my degrees are in physics, I’ve always worked as an engineer,” she said, stating she’s worked with radiation detection, on the Mars simulation and the Return to Flight program.

Her time in education started when she came to the Wiregrass. Hanson started teaching science classes at Enterprise High School in 2011 while also teaching a LabVIEW class as an adjunct at Gulf Coast State College (GCSC) in Panama City.

“I did not set out to be a teacher,” she said. “Research is what I really thought I wanted to do, and I did. I liked doing the research. I have a lot of publications related to that, the research that I did.

“It was a LabVIEW field engineer that I had worked with when I was doing my graduate research at Southern Miss. He knew that Gulf Coast State College needed somebody to teach LabVIEW, and he’s the one that kind of thought that I would be good at doing that. Once I started doing it, I was hooked. I just enjoyed it. I really liked teaching, and I was told by a lot of students and other faculty that I was good at it.”

After serving as an adjunct teacher at GCSC for a year, she was offered the chance to take over the college’s engineering technology program, which offered four specializations.

She was over the program for three years, during which time she said the program grew “over 400 percent” and had one of the largest, if not the largest at the time, precentages of female enrollments in the state of Florida. She received the Manufacturing Post-Secondary Educator of the Year award for the growth of this program in 2014.

During her time in college, Hanson said she was one of just a few women in her program.

“It’s a lot different now than when I went through college,” she said. “It’s changed a lot, and some of it is that women aren’t as scared of it now, you know. If they can see another woman doing it and being successful at it, that’s a good example for them.”

Though there has been an increase in women joining STEM fields, Hanson said she just wants to help all her students be the best fit for any job they apply for.

“To me, it’s more about who can do the job,” she said. “Pick the best person for the job. I tell people, I don’t care what gender they are; I don’t care what color they are. I don’t care about any of that, just does the person have the talent for whatever career that is.”

After her success with the engineering technology program at GCSC, Hanson said she was recruited to start a new program at Chipola College. She served there for three years.

She then served as an adjunct at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, where she taught engineering technology and physics, returning to her roots.

“I loved it,” she said, smiling. “I loved teaching physics.”

While at WGTC, connections put Hanson in contact with President Matt Rodgers and Dean of Instruction Danny Long at Enterprise State Community College to provide insight into starting a mechatronics program.

“They called me, really, just to give them some advice about starting a program, first,” she said. “Then, I applied for the position when they were ready to hire someone. So, I started with Enterprise State officially in March.”

To start a new program like the mechatronics program, she said the school needed to show a need for it in the community.

“Industry has to be on board with what you’re doing, and that’s what the state wants to see,” Hanson said. “They want to make sure that you have industry support, that there are going to be jobs available for your students when they graduate.”

During her time in education, Hanson said she has personally seen the need for more individuals to have credentials in STEM fields like mechatronics.

“The more I worked in the education field, the more I would see industry coming to me, and I could not produce enough graduates to fill all the jobs that were available,” she said. “That’s how I kind of started leaning towards workforce development more, and it has kind of become a passion of mine.

“The number one reason (this program is important) is the skills gap because we’re going to have so many people retire out of manufacturing in the next 10 years that we don’t have enough of the younger generation to replace them. As these jobs become harder and harder to fill, the wages are going to go up and up and up.

“They’re saying nationwide, they expect 4.6 million jobs to be available in the next 10 years and only about 2.4 million of those to be filled.”

Though the program is ready for its first students in the fall, Hanson said she has not stopped reaching out to potential students or local industries.

“This summer, I’m still back out talking to industry, making sure we’re on the same page and seeing if we can create some training classes for their employees to go along with our credit courses,” she said. “Then, I’ve been in high school, trying to recruit students.”

She said she has found that having experience in this field allows her to provide insight for students asking about mechatronics and the school’s program.

“I hear a lot from students that I can tell them why they’re learning what they’re learning,” she said. “They want to know why is this important?”

To provide an example, she said one of the Mars lunar landers crashed “because they didn’t properly do a conversion between English and metric (measurements).”

“They always want to know why do I have to learn this; why do I have to know this math?” she said. “A lot of time, I can give them an example of when that matters.”

Hanson also tries to tell potential students that manufacturing, a field in which mechatronics is found, has changed in the past decades.

“One of the biggest things we fight with getting young people interested is they think manufacturing is standing at an assembly line and operating a screw gun all day or something like that,” she said. “They think it’s what it was 20 years ago, and it is absolutely not that anymore.

“Manufacturing now is, for the most part, automated, so you’re not standing at the assembly line running the screwdriver; you’re standing there operating the robot or programming the robot that is doing that more menial task, and automation doesn’t replace jobs; it doesn’t get rid of jobs for people. It just changes what those jobs are.”

AAC offers several avenues to receive credentials in mechatronics. High school students can take dual-enrollment courses, industrial certifications can be completed in just a couple of weeks, college credit certifications can be completed in several semesters and a two-year program is also offered.

Hanson said the AAC also plans to grow.

“We’re going to become a Center of Excellence for NC3 Festo certifications, so that’s a big deal,” she said. Festo Didactic is “a global manufacturer of process control and factory automation solutions.”

“Another big goal is to get the program off the ground here, and once it’s successful, we want to duplicate it on other campuses,” she said.

She encouraged those who enjoyed hands-on work or those who might think mechatronics is a field they might enjoy.

“This program is for anybody who likes working hands on because the majority of the learning is done hands on,” she said. “This is not traditional engineering in the sense that you’re not going to sit in a classroom and study theory out of textbooks and have to do a lot of math.

“College is about trying things, so if anybody thinks they might have an inkling to do this, come try it. There’s no harm in it. You might find that you’re good at it; that’s kind of what happened to me.”

SEACT Summer Camp concludes with performance

SEACT Summer Camp concludes with performance

Southeast Alabama Community Theatre Summer Camp, hosted at Enterprise State Community College, concluded last Friday with performances by actors and actresses from both classes offered at the camp. The camp, which featured 40 actors and actresses, was hosted at ESCC for the first time thanks to the efforts of ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair Ken Thomas. Here, students in one SEACT camp class perform “The Jitterbug” before beginning a play.

The campers, ages five through 12, learned a 13-scene stage play, “The Wizard of Oz.” SEACT Summer Camp was intended to promote public speaking, creativity and social skills in area youth. According to ESCC Public Relations Director Stephen Schmidt, the college was happy to host a great program for the community that promotes the arts in the Wiregrass. Schmidt said ESCC looks forward to hosting the event again next year.

ESCC presents Mechatronics program to Alabama Community College System

ESCC presents Mechatronics program to Alabama Community College System

MONTGOMERY — On July 10, a team representing Enterprise State Community College was given the honor of presenting their new Mechatronics program to the Alabama Community College System Board work session in Montgomery. To fully explain and display the program and its future impact, ESCC President Matt Rodgers wanted some members of his team present during the work session.

“The Mechatronics program and other programs implemented in the past year would not be possible without a committed staff working to provide new ways to serve our community,” said Rodgers. “Programs are important but it is the people that make them possible.”

Mechatronics, a program for students interested in industrial automation jobs, is starting this fall at ESCC. The program will incorporate electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering to prepare students in one of the world’s largest high-tech manufacturing fields. Students will study for both industrial and college certifications as well as degrees from ESCC in Mechatronics.
Beginning this fall, ESCC will have launched six new programs at ESCC and at the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark. ESCC is currently going through the accreditation process to have a seventh program, Paramedics, approved for next year.

Rex Lumber, an ESCC industry partner, sent Michelle Schaefer to represent their company at the ACCS board meeting. Rex Lumber is a new business in Pike County that will provide 110 jobs. This company was the first company who reached out to offer a full scholarship to a student entering the new Mechatronics program.

“Through the leadership of the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Jimmy Baker, the Alabama Community College System continues to positively impact workforce development in Alabama,” said Ian Campbell, ESCC’s director of Workforce Development. “Enterprise State is proud to have the support of ACCS and excited about the new Mechatronics program on the Ozark campus. This program will meet the current and future workforce needs of our local manufacturing and associated industries through a flexible, relevant, industry driven curriculum model.”

ESCC to hold job readiness classes, job fair

ESCC to hold job readiness classes, job fair
Enterprise State Community College will be holding job readiness classes as well as a job fair throughout the month of July.

Two free classes will be held at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day in Talmadge Hall, Room 105, on July 16 and July 23. The classes are open to the public.

Enterprise Career Center Veteran Employment Representative Michael Warren said that these classes have “proven to have a high success rate for those who attend.”

Warren and Mike Kozlowski from Fort Rucker will serve as the instructors for the classes.

These classes serve to help prepare possible attendees for the Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Job Fair to be held on July 31 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at ESCC.

Warren stressed that the job fair is open to all residents in the Wiregrass and not just military personnel.

“This is open to everyone with myriad opportunities of employment: local, in-state, tri-state, across the country and outside of the country at a multitude of wages,” Warren said.

Anyone who would like to attend the job fair can sign up at

ESCC holds annual basketball camp for area youth

Enterprise State Community College this week is holding its holding its annual basketball camp, led by ESCC Athletic Director and Basketball Coach Jeremaine Williams. Tuesday was the second day of the camp, for kids ages seven through 12, and it focused primarily on agility and shooting drills. The camp will run through Thursday, July 11. Williams, who has eight years at the helm of both the ESCC men’s and women’s basketball teams, will also lead another camp next week, open to kids ages 13-16. Girls will participate in camp activities each day from 8:30 a.m. to noon, while boys will participate from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is $75 and is open for that camp until its first day on July 15. Here, Williams lines up a group of campers for shooting exercises.

Camp Weevil offers learning and fun to area youth

Camp Weevil offers learning and fun to area youth

Enterprise State Community College this week hosted the 2019 Camp Weevil, offering kids the opportunity to stay mentally and physically active over the summer break with a variety of activities including “Wild About Art” and “Ooey Gooey Science.” The camp was a joint effort between ESCC and the Alabama 4-H Cooperative Extension System, and is designed to help students learn without pressure according to Ann Kelley, instructional resources and community education director at ESCC. Pictured (from left) are Geremiah Brown, Presley Findley, Kaydence Horne and Jackson Owens working together to construct a roller coaster worthy of Six Flags.

Enterprise State Community College

Your College, Your Future

Enterprise State Community College offers excellent academic, technical, and workforce training programs in order to prepare students for jobs that are in demand! Our faculty and staff are committed to the educational success of all ESCC students!