With more than 50 manufacturing firms employing nearly 5,000 people and providing an estimated $114 million, it's safe to say Auburn has established itself as one of the region's more dynamic manufacturing hubs. Products produced include small engines, automotive wheels, fuel cells, plastic injection technology, vehicle armor and jet aircraft engines.
On Friday, Oct. 3, Auburn will celebrate that business growth as part of National Manufacturing Day. Auburn's Economic Development Department and the Auburn Technical Assistance Center – the Alabama Technology Network center at Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business – will host an open house and tour of the Auburn Training Connection (ATC) at 1500 Pumphrey Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The open house includes a tour the machining lab used by the Auburn High School’s Industrial Technology Program, a demonstration of the student-built “Bug-E” electric car, and a demonstration of the aviation flight simulator used to train Auburn University flight students.
Auburn also is home to four large industrial parks, where new and expanding industry has invested more than $1.1 billion since 1994. The ATC – which was formed some 10 years ago to address a local growing workforce training need – is a unique partnership among Auburn area industry, Auburn University, Auburn City Schools, the City of Auburn and the Auburn Industrial Development Board. Its purpose is to provide a central training location to support local manufacturing industry.
The ATC now serves as the workforce development arm of the City of Auburn and employs a full-time workforce development director. Its seven-member governing board is comprised of three representatives from local industry, two government officials, and two education officials. ATC programs include:
- Ongoing training tailored specific to the needs of local industry;
- Auburn High School's Career Technical Education curriculum;
- Skill sets taught in high school program that are defined by area industry;
- Dual credit courses (college credit for high school courses);
- Industrial systems and maintenance program;
- Annual Summer Manufacturing Academy (for incoming 9th graders).