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  • September 2021

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    HMMA Begins Production of Santa Cruz in Montgomery
    In late June, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) celebrated the production launch of the all-new 2022 Santa Cruz sport utility at the automaker’s Montgomery facility, expanding the plant’s family of Alabama-built vehicles to five. “The Santa Cruz marks the first HMMA-built vehicle that originated right here in Montgomery, Alabama. This vehicle is not being built anywhere else in the world,” Robert Burns, the facility’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration, told workers during a launch ceremony. “We want to show the world that the best-quality and safest cars are produced right here, and to be recognized as the best automotive manufacturing plant in North America,” Chris Susock, Vice President of Production at HMMA, said during the ceremony.
    Huntingdon Announces Residence Life Staff
    Huntingdon College fall term classes began August 9, and the residence life staff was ready to welcome new students. The following members of the Huntingdon community will serve as leaders in the residence halls: Searcy Hall will be led by Residence Director, Joe Thomas and Assistant Residence Director, Isaac Ritchie. There will also be Resident Assistants: Dylan Bohling, Class of 2022, Cameron Nicely, Class of 2022, Cam Reynolds, Class of 2024, Gavin Walker, Class of 2022.

    Ligon Hall will be led by Residence Director, Kerigan Pickett and Assistant Residence Director, Haley Knowles. The Resident Assistant will be Jasmine Paynter, Class of 2023.

    Hanson Hall will be led by Residence Director, Tachera Porter. Blount Hall will be led by Residence Director, Logan Gildea and Assistant Residence Directors Coco Burgess and Hayley Haggard. The Resident Assistants will be Abrianna (A.B.) Davis, Class of 2023 and Sam Granderson, Class of 2022.
    Mayor Steven L. Reed Recognized among Top 10 Mayors to Watch
    Montgomery Mayor Steven L. Reed has been recognized as one the Top 10 Mayors to Watch in an inaugural listing by Route Fifty, a news site covering state and local government. Route Fifty created this list to recognize a group of mayors who they think are worth paying special attention to, given the innovative ways they have been tackling some of the most pressing challenges cities face, or because of how their work, or time in office, reflects interesting trends.

    The profile lauded the passage of Reed’s $50 million community investment initiative, the adoption of the city’s first new comprehensive plan in over 50 years, his focus on improvements in education and his work to position Montgomery competitively against its peers.
    Esports Team Coming to Faulkner
    Faulkner University announced plans for a new esports team scheduled to begin competition in the fall of 2022. Esports, organized video competitions, are exploding in popularity across high schools, colleges and universities throughout the country. Since competitions are virtual, they can be broadcast online for viewers to watch around the world. Faulkner has recognized esports as a great opportunity to attract prospective students and hopes to be a part of building it into an established competitive collegiate sport.

    Much like early college football, esports is growing from a grassroots effort where gaming guidelines, competition schedules and player formats are agreed upon with mutual cooperation between opposing teams. Organized under the Faulkner Athletics Department, Faulkner esports is scheduled to launch by fall 2022, however, renovations and development of the new esports arena should be completed by December 2021. Faulkner’s plans are to establish an official esports varsity team. Unlike traditional sports, esports is a participant sport that anyone can play.
    Trenholm State Announces New Lineworker Training Program with Area Utilities
    Trenholm State Community College, in partnership with Alabama Power and the Alabama Rural Electric Association, has launched a new program to train individuals to work as electric utility line workers to fill the more than 500 available lineworker jobs in the River Region with a median salary of $84,606 as reported by EMSI.

    Students will learn the technical and safety skills required to gain employment as a utility lineworker, including pole climbing and working aloft, electricity, mechanized equipment, ladder safety and commercial drivers’ license training. Additionally, students will learn essential skills such as resume writing, interview preparation, interpersonal skills, CPR and first aid. The nineweek program will begin at Trenholm State’s Patterson location in January 2022.

    “Trenholm State’s new lineworker training program is an exciting addition to the college’s workforce training efforts and will help individuals obtain well-paying jobs to make a better life for themselves and their families,” said Trenholm State Acting President Dr. Kemba Chambers. “I’m grateful to the Alabama Community College System and our utility partners for working alongside us as we develop this in-demand program that will yield positive outcomes for the River Region.”
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