MONTGOMERY, AL—The Alabama Community College System and Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association are offering a joint scholarship to 50 students to pursue a career at one of the state's many car manufacturing plants. Alabama's automotive sector is the 3rd largest in the country and still growing. Within the next two years, 10,000 automotive jobs will be available in the state.

A total of $180,000 will be awarded to 50 students who have at least a 2.5 GPA. The scholarship money goes toward one of 14 automotive-related programs that are offered at community colleges in nearly every corner of the state.

“These are great careers, where a student can come out of high school, take 2 years of education at one of our community colleges, and start with a salary of around $55,000 a year,” says Jeff Lynn, vice chancellor of workforce development for the Alabama Community College System.

The auto industry play a big role in Alabama’s bottom line. Every job at a plant like Hyundai, Mercedes, Honda, and Mazda-Toyota, actually creates five to six other jobs in the community. These are jobs in a clean and safe atmosphere, with great benefits, that are growing wealth in the state of Alabama, according to Lynn.