Christina Banks is a production team member at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, which is outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The plant was the first in the region, opening 17 years ago and today employing 3,800 people. Christina is responsible for helping to put the cockpit and headliners in vehicles, as well as adjusting sunroofs.

Christina, her brother and her husband have worked at Mercedes-Benz for 7 years. They have witnessed first hand how Mercedes-Benz and the auto industry can impact people and provide for the futures of families.

"To me, Mercedes-Benz is not just family-oriented with us working here, but it's that type of environment with everybody," says Christina. "It really helps knowing there is job stability for my entire family and provides a lot of opportunity to learn, grow and travel for all employees that work here."

Mercedes-Benz has made a big difference in the community near Vance, providing job opportunities at the plant, bringing in suppliers and supporting local businesses. Mercedes has also worked hard to help people outside its facility.

"I'm really proud that Mercedes helps out in the community," says Christina. "We had a tornado come through here in Tuscaloosa and they really stepped up and helped everybody in the community. And there's a lot of people who worked here that it affected and Mercedes was the first to step up and help everybody."

With 30 suppliers providing for the auto plant, Mercedes-Benz has helped bring business and prosperity to the Tuscaloosa community. Automakers such as Mercedes-Benz offer new opportunities to areas that once lacked dedicated industries.

"A job is an American dream, and for Mercedes to provide job opportunities and stability for anyone in our town here in Vance, Alabama or in another town in another state, the auto industry helps the economy to grow and advance to bigger and better things," says Christina.