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Manufacture Alabama, UNA partner to offer affordable higher education degrees to manufacturing employees

Manufacturing in Alabama is thriving, and now the industry boasts an exciting new avenue to stay on the cutting edge of workforce development and educational attainment.

Wednesday, Manufacture Alabama and the University of North Alabama (UNA) jointly announced the launch of a partnership that will offer increased access to higher education for manufacturers throughout the state. With the newly formed collaboration, employees of Manufacture Alabama-member companies are eligible to receive a special scholarship directly from UNA.

The industry/higher education partnership is intended to provide additional opportunities to manufacturers to complete their higher education degrees or gain important training and certifications. It will also provide employers with an affordable in-state option to groom current employees for future leadership or skilled roles.

“This partnership with UNA, a four-year institution, represents one of the last remaining pieces of MA’s commitment to education and workforce development in Alabama,” Manufacture Alabama President George Clark said in a press release.

He continued, “So much of our time and resources have historically been dedicated to the community college system, K through 12 and other programs. Now we are expanding the ability of manufacturers to go on to earn the highest levels of education, and not just in north Alabama, but throughout the state through UNA’s online offerings.”

“The University of North Alabama is pleased to partner with Manufacture Alabama to offer an array of degree options to its members. UNA is dedicated to workforce development and educational attainment throughout the state,” Dr. Ross Alexander, UNA vice president for academic affairs and provost, explained.

The scholarship amount to be awarded will be 20 percent of the course’s tuition and fee value. Any of UNA’s online or traditional graduate or undergraduate courses are available under the scholarship’s provisions. The only requirements for eligibility are that the scholarship recipient must be employed by a Manufacture Alabama-member company and must have at least one year of full-time employment history with that company.

Manufacture Alabama is a leading trade association in the Yellowhammer State and is the only trade association in the state dedicated exclusively to the competitive, legislative, regulatory and operational interests and needs of manufacturers and their partner industries and businesses.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn