Alabama auto industry drives into new era with brainpower jobs, deeper skills 

But since Honda Alabama began producing vehicles 15 years ago, it has become the primary source of light truck production for the automaker and is now the exclusive supplier of the Odyssey, the Pilot SUV, the Ridgeline pickup and the Acura MDX luxury SUV.

Along with the volume increase, the technology has grown more advanced as well.

'The V-6 engine that we first started building has become more complex with the introduction of direct fuel injection, a technology that was in its infancy when we first started,' Oatridge said.

'In fact, almost all of our vehicles now have advanced technology as standard equipment - features such as side curtain airbags, back-up cameras and Bluetooth connectivity.'

Meanwhile, in the past three years, the plant's workforce has executed four new model changes, an unprecedented schedule among Honda plants.

'So, with all those new models, along with new technology and advanced safety features, we have seen the skills to develop, build and test our vehicles become just as advanced. And that's why our engineering requirements have continued to expand,' Oatridge said.

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2016 CARCAM National Visiting Committee Meeting



 Members of the National Visiting Committe


CARCAM held its annual National Visiting Committee (NVC) Meetings on April 14-15 in the AIDT Honda Training Center at Honda Manufacturing Alabama, Lincoln, AL.  The meeting was comprised of educators, industry leaders, manufacturing organization members and NVC members from across the state and nation. Grant goals and activities as well as industry partnership projects were discussed. Ten partner college faculty members provided brief presentations highlighting their successful projects from 2015 that provided the NVC insight into their technical programs and methods utilized to educate multi-skilled technicians for the future.


Students spoke from Gadsden State and Central Alabama community colleges as well as a dual enrollment student from Wallace State-Hanceville and the REHAU Academy in Cullman, AL. The students were able to share the technical skills developed while in school as well as how they have applied these skills in their current apprenticeships or co-op programs.  The agenda included a tour of Honda’s newest addition to their facility, the second engine production line. The meeting was concluded with discussion on CARCAM’s future focus.



Maike Sievers Recognized as Leader in the Logistics Industry

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – February 19, 2016. Supply & Demand Chain Executive, the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, recently announced its 16th annual Pros to Know winners. Included in the winner circle is Director of Engineering, Sales and Marketing at BLG Logistics (BLG), Maike Sievers.

The Pros to Know awards recognize leaders in the supply chain industry that are embracing innovation and embarking on initiatives that will prepare their companies’ supply chains for the significant challenges of today’s business climate. Sievers supports the broader supply chain goals and the customer’s demand for attention to detail throughout BLG’s various initiatives. Taking in stride the fast-paced work environment of the 3PL, Sievers focuses on what she believes to be the key to successful operations, noting that an optimally run operation will require technology that supports responsiveness to changing customer environments. “Working for Maike, I continue to be amazed by her ability to be focused and organized despite her many roles and responsibilities at BLG,” notes Beth Snelson of the Logistics Planning, Sales and Marketing team at BLG. “I admire her patience and positive attitude while working through challenges, and her respect for individuals on her team.”

Sievers has implemented a range of initiatives to secure a stronghold in BLG supply chain operations for her customers. “Optricity is pleased to have the chance to work with BLG and is honored to have had the opportunity to support Maike in one of her many workplace optimization initiatives,” says Sheila Benny, EVP of Optricity. “Working by her side to ensure that innovative solutions are implemented, and implemented well, is important to us. We are pleased to see she is being recognized for her efforts and look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”

Sievers’s dedication to her roles at BLG and the results of her supply chain initiatives highlight her as a Pro within this industry. “I want to formally commend and acknowledge Maike Sievers for the excellent work she has done,” says Roberto Patino, President of BLG. “The level of expertise that she has extended in the automotive logistics industry for the period of twenty years plus can only be termed as far beyond my expectations. Impressed by her remarkable work in performing her executive roles and duties, I am compelled to go on record with praise, for she truly deserves it.”




Made in the South: 2015 Southern Automotive Conference

 Left to Right: Joe Hendrix, Mavon Copeland, and Kevin Smith

CARCAM joined over 1,000 industry leaders and educators gathered in Nashville, TN on Oct. 18-20 from across the Southeast to discuss the fastest growing automotive manufacturing sector in the country at the 2015 Southern Automotive Conference, hosted by the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association. 

During the two-day conference, OEM's and education leaders rolled up their sleeves to combat three growing concerns in the area; how to develop a more skilled workforce, improve operational excellence, and further process innovations. Educational leaders were able to showcase their latest efforts on how they are continuing to increase our region's competitive advantage by improving the skills taught as the foundation for the technical workforce.

CARCAM participated in a panel session, Paving the Road to Automotive Careers, which brought together school superintendents, educators within the auto industry, and students who have successfully completed workforce training programs. The panel also included participants who explained how they are cultivating a robust automotive workforce and creating positive change within their communities. Panelists included: Joe Hendrix, AUT Chair - Wallace State Community College-Hanceville; Kevin Smith, Technical Training Manager - Nissan North America; and Mavon Copeland, Maintenance Technologist - Nissan North America. 

For more information on the conference, check out





Professional Development

Member Colleges

Industry Partners



CARCAM Mission: 

CARCAM responds to rapid advanced manufacturing sector growth by establishing and implementing innovative methods to develop a highly-skilled, diverse technical workforce and provide state-of-the-art professional development.

Who Are We?

The CARCAM consortium is one of 42 regional National Science Foundation ATE Center’s. We are educating today’s workforce in cutting–edge technology. Our curriculum is specifically designed and developed with input from business and industry and implemented in today’s highly advanced technical manufacturing industry. 


With the skills learned at CARCAM colleges, Students are ready for today's top manufacturing technology careers.



STEM/Robotics Camp Best Practices Guide 2016






CGA Best Practices Guide


 Curriculum Review Process Guide