2 years ago

Alabama financial guru: Do you have a plan to cover the necessities in life DURING your retirement?

Birmingham, Alabama-based financial guru Jeff Roberts, who was recently named one of the top private wealth advisors in the nation by Barron’s®, came on Yellowhammer Radio to lay out the facts so people can decide for themselves.

The full conversation with Mr. Roberts can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Podcast on iTunes. Learn more about Jeff Roberts’ private wealth advisory practice at JeffRobertsAndAssociates.com.


Andrea Tice:

Welcome back to Yellowhammer Radio. On the show with us today is local financial guru, Jeff Roberts. Jeff is the founder of Jeff Roberts & Associates, and his team of seven advisors can help simplify your complex wealth management needs. They are exceptional financial advisors who have provided sophisticated financial planning and advice to high-net-worth clients for a combined number of years, 131 combined years. We’re going to have him on the show. The seven people, Jeff, are you there?

Jeff Roberts:

I am indeed.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah, hey, Jeff.

Jeff Roberts:

Hello.

Andrea Tice:

I just noticed that the seven advisors you have on your staff matches up with the seventh award you received recently from Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors for 2017, so that’s a nice matching there. I think so.

Jeff Roberts:

It is coincidental, but wonderful. Those are the very people that help us to serve clients extremely well and to be recognized by Barron’s, in addition to the tremendous team that we’ve got of client support staff. The new one we brought in today, his name is Courtney. I’ll give a shout out to for-

Andrea Tice:

Oh, okay. Her first day?

Jeff Roberts:

Being on our team and serving our clients well.

Andrea Tice:

That’s great. That’s great. Hi, Courtney. Glad to have you on board, too. Last week, you introduced the 3-Minute Confident Retirement check that was found on your website. Everybody has three minutes to spare, so it was good that you pointed that out for people who want to find out where they are in the future for retirement. I know you planned to drill down today on the Confident Retirement approach, so you want to start out with that?

Jeff Roberts:

Absolutely. Absolutely. The Confident Retirement approach is kind of an exclusive tool that we use when trying to help clients who are trying to get that word “confidence” and weave that into their life when they think about their future retirement plans, or even while in retirement. It gives us a straightforward framework to create a sound retirement plan, it provides an income for a lifetime, and it’s composed essentially of four components. If you think about the Confident Retirement approach, the easiest way to do it is, I want you to think of the four components, and in your head, I want you to picture a triangle. If you break the triangle into four horizontal layers, if you will.

The widest layer sits on the bottom of the triangle, and that’s the section that we call covering essentials. That is necessities in life that we simply have to cover. The next layer up is going to be ensuring lifestyle, and that’s lifestyle expenses that include the goals that you have for retirement like travel, and dining out, and hobbies, and that sort of thing. The next layer up is going to be the unexpected things that pop into retirement where we’re preparing for the unexpected. Those are the things like accidents or disability, and making sure that you’ve built into your sound retirement plan, the unexpected. The last tip of the iceberg, so to speak, the tip of the triangle is leaving a legacy. That is passing to survivors, families, charities, and causes that are important to you the wealth that you’ve been able to accumulate.

What we’ve found is if you break down those four basic areas of if can make sure that you can cover essentials, you assure that you have income to provide for your lifestyle, prepare for the unexpected, and leave a legacy, if you tackle those four things, then you simply will have confidence in planning toward retirement or in retirement. So it’s a framework.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah. I remember seeing that on your website when you directed us to that page where you start the 3-Minute Confident Retirement check. Let me ask you this. Let’s drill down a little bit more on just that first initial base, that foundational base of the triangle where it’s covering essentials. Can you give us examples for people who are listening to understand what is an essential expense.

Jeff Roberts:

Yeah. The first thing, and I figured over the next couple weeks, we would tackle each one of these layers of the triangle.

Andrea Tice:

Okay.

Jeff Roberts:

The first one being covering essentials, which, if you think about it, any foundation of retirement strategy, it starts with covering all the essential expenses that are considered predictable and recurring. These are the ongoing essential necessities in life. Because financial markets are uncertain, we believe that essential expenses should be covered by solutions that are guaranteed and provide stable income. Virtually everybody in retirement has already accumulated one or maybe multiple forms of a guaranteed income or stable income that they have in place, notably for example, social security. Some people might have a defined benefit plan sometimes called a pension. Those are components that provide a guaranteed income to cover the expenses that we know are going to be there no matter what every single month.

Andrea Tice:

Okay. You’re mentioning these stable income sources that you’re going to use to cover the essentials, and we could go down a long road for a long time on even just one, but you want to just quickly give us some of the complexities of just one that you have to deal with?

Jeff Roberts:

Yeah. Let me start with a couple just to breakdown the expenses themselves that are common. For example, we see expenses as things like mortgage payments that people might have for a period of time in retirement, if they still have a debt for a period of time. That’s going to be something that’s there every month. Home maintenance expenses, those are going to be there pretty much regularly. Food, you’re going to have a grocery bill regularly. Medical expenses, you’re going to have that systematically, too. Utility costs, real estate taxes, insurance premiums. Clothing expenses, probably not as much in retirement as essentials, but some. Taxes, regular federal and state taxes. Those are things that when you get up every single month, you’re going to have those expenses that have got to be covered. Those are examples of the expenses.

To your point on incomes, we believe that there should be certain sources of incomes that we set aside to tackle just the essentials. For example, we mentioned social security being one. That can be a fixed guaranteed income. Some people have a pension. It’s going to be fully covered or insured pension that will provide some income as well. If you don’t have that income source, you might consider things like an immediate annuity or a variable annuity that includes a Living Benefit Rider for life. You can have a certificate of deposit that’s FDIC guaranteed, or face-amount certificates where the principle’s guaranteed. U.S. Federal Securities. Those are all examples of vehicles that can provide a guarantee of income to where people in retirement can know no matter what I do, no matter how much I screw up myself financially, I have these guarantees that are going to cover those essential expenses.

Andrea Tice:

Wow, that’s great. You clearly have a lot of options in your portfolio to advise people about in getting that one level, that base level established and on its way, so that’s really-

Jeff Roberts:

And you make a good point when you ask that question a second ago. Well, if we pick one of those and drill down any one of those, what are some of the questions or things that we might need to be considering just for one of those different sources? I could pick one like, say, social security. Remember, there’s so much complexity to all of this, and we try and make it easy for folks, but just to give you an example.

If you’re just trying to focus on the easiest and most guaranteed of incomes in retirement social security, there’s a whole litany of questions that you’ve got to ask, like how old will you be when you retire? Because that significantly impacts how much your social security retirement check is. Will you take social security early, at full retirement age, or let it grow 8% per year after that all the way to age 70? Your health, how is your health? That is going to determine your social security or whether you might want to take it now or not. Your spouse’s health might have an impact on when you take social security. Will you work after age 62? That will determine some impact on your social security. Will you make more than the $16,920 earnings limit while being in retirement and having social security?

Those are, I don’t know, six or seven questions that dramatically impact just one decision of taking social security, and if you’re looking at multiple pieces all on this one level of covering essentials, you can realize there’s a lot to take into consideration.

Andrea Tice:

Wow, yeah. If anything, Jeff, you’re the man who provides the questions that need to be asked, and then the answers.

Jeff Roberts:

That’s the goal. That’s the goal.

Andrea Tice:

Yeah. If anyone has an interest in getting help or they want to be more confident towards their retirement, what should they do?

Jeff Roberts:

The easiest way is reach out to us at (205) 313-9150, and we’re happy to arrange a time to talk or get together. A couple tools, you can go on to jeffrobertsandassociates.com, and if you’ll scroll down, you’ll find very easily a 3-Minute Confident Retirement check, which is a tool that will help you to figure out where you are in terms of your own level of confidence in planning for retirement. We’re happy to help any way we can with folks.

Andrea Tice:

All right. Yes, I have been on the website. We did it last week. It was very simple, very nicely done, easy to access. For those who are interested in going through that checklist, you can do that. There’s no problems with that. They’re not necessarily going to get a call just by going on the website. They’re just going to go through-

Jeff Roberts:

No, no, no. That’s a great point. If you go to the website, it’s just an online tool. You have the ability when you complete the 3-Minute Retirement check, if you want to pass that on …

Andrea Tice:

Did I just lose him? I think I just lost him. Are you there, Jeff?

Steve West:

I think we’ve lost him.

Andrea Tice:

Uh oh. I’m still on the air, right?

Steve West:

Oh, yeah.

Andrea Tice:

Okay. All right. Jeff, I’m so sorry. We lost you, and we’re about to head into a break, so let me just wrap it up.

If you need to call Jeff, Jeff Roberts & Associates, (205) 313-9150 is the number. Then, like he said, you can go to the website, which I’m going blank on, jeffrobertsandassociates, that’s right. Look it up on the internet, and you can get to Jeff Roberts & Associates that way.

Also, we just covered the four parts of a Confident Retirement. We’re going to do the next three in the next three weeks. The first one he just covered was covering the essentials, and there’s a lot to consider there. He asked a lot of questions. It’s very thorough, and he drills down because it’s so important to cover the essentials and to have a stable income in your retirement that will cover the essentials. So if you need help with that, call Jeff Roberts.

9 hours ago

Why go to college?

More than three million students will begin college this year, many pursuing degrees needed for high paying jobs. Amazingly, bachelor’s degrees open economic doors despite little evidence of significant learning in college. How can students who retain so little knowledge make so much money?

A college degree can identify people who employers want to hire. A recent book by George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan provocatively titled The Case Against Education argues that this signaling explains much of the college earnings premium.

The college earnings premium is real. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 college grads earned 64% more than high school grads who never attended college, and 39% more than associate’s degree holders. College grads are also less likely to be unemployed, with a 2.2% unemployment rate, versus 4.1% for high school grads. The earnings and unemployment differentials have both persisted for years.

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Businesses require bachelor’s degrees for many jobs. Every time a business chooses college grads, they pay more. Profit-hungry businesses should not hire more expensive workers unless they create more value.

Economics offers two theories for education’s value. The first, called human capital, contends that learning makes workers more productive. In the human capital story, the college curriculum must be directly valuable to employers. High paying degrees, like economics, must teach skills businesses value more.

Alternatively, college degrees might allow students to signal characteristics which businesses desire; the content of degrees may be largely irrelevant. Life offers many examples of signaling. Romance and courting involve numerous signals, like engagement rings. A diamond is of little practical value, but signals the willingness to make a life-long commitment.

What does college signal? Professor Caplan argues three main traits: intelligence, conscientiousness, and conformity. Businesses desire workers who are smart, able to learn challenging material, and willing to follow rules. Conformity is probably becoming more important, as businesses can no longer afford workers who tell off-color jokes or express racial, religious or sexual intolerance.

Intelligence and ability to learn are valuable because the details of jobs differ greatly across employers. Employers must train workers to do a job their way. Employees must be willing to turn off their cell phones and pay attention.

How important is human capital versus signaling? Discussions of higher education policy generally presume human capital theory. Yet Professor Caplan contends that the college premium is about 80% signaling and 20% human capital. The content of education clearly has some relevance; engineering firms will not hire inexpensive social work majors over expensive engineers because they prefer graduates already familiar with engineering.

Professor Caplan presents a wealth of statistical evidence in support of signaling. Yet several puzzles demonstrate signaling’s importance. Perhaps most telling is the one mentioned above, the lack of evidence on long-term learning. Knowledge forgotten – of Shakespeare, calculus, or supply and demand – cannot be generating productivity. Furthermore, a student who is one or two classes short of a degree has acquired perhaps 95 percent of a degree’s human capital, but will face a significant salary penalty. And attending classes allows acquisition of knowledge without earning college credit, and has essentially no market value.

Signaling creates value for the economy even if course content is largely irrelevant. College helps employers find the workers they want. Yes, four years of college is costly, but everyone wants high paying jobs and would likely lie during an interview. Whether higher education provides efficient signaling depends on whether an alternative can separate high and low-quality potential workers at a lower cost.

The potential exists for excessive and wasteful signaling. Completing high school used to separate one from the crowd. Arguably we now use college degrees as a signal instead of high school diplomas. Credential inflation is potentially costly.

For parents of college students, signaling offers some solace. Even if Sally or Johnny seem to forget everything after the semester ends, passing forgettable classes can readily signal employers their willingness to learn a boring job.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

10 hours ago

VIDEO: Gun control, tolls are just a regional concern, racist Alabama Democrats and more on Guerrilla Politics …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will a serious discussion about “gun control” take place, or will it be more politicking by both sides?

— Will toll talk spread beyond the citizens of Mobile and Baldwin Counties?

— Why are Alabama Democrats calling each other racist?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) to discuss gun control, tolls, debt and the potential recession.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” where he argues that American institutions should put Americans first.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

11 hours ago

Alabama’s Margaret Renkl, writer for New York Times, launches first book, ‘Late Migrations’

A couple of years ago, Alabama native Margaret Renkl, who had made a career out of writing and editing, was stressed. Really stressed.

Living in Nashville, she had moved her mother up from Birmingham to help take care of her in her final years.

“After my mom died, and my husband’s parents had moved up here, too, it really was unbearable,” she says. “I was dealing with grief and caregiving, and two of my three children were still living at home. It was a lot.”

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Then, at the Southern Festival of Books, Renkl ran into an editor from The New York Times. The newspaper was starting a new series, The End, about end-of-life issues, and he urged her to write about her experience.

“I ended up working, first thing in the morning, 15 minutes a day, on an essay about my mother’s death and my mother-in-law dying, and at the end of the month, I sent it in, and they bought it,” Renkl says. “I did another piece, and they bought that, also. By that time, I was feeling a lot more confident.”

Her mother-in-law had also passed away, so Renkl had a bit more time.

“I was still sorting through these issues about grief, but I didn’t think of them as a book,” she says.

But they were a book, at least the beginnings of one, and last month Renkl released “Late Migrations,” a book of essays about two of Renkl’s passions – her family and the natural world.

The book has received rave reviews from celebrities and bibliophiles alike. Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine says Renkl “guides us through a South lush with bluebirds, pecan orchards and glasses of whiskey shared at dusk in this collection of prose in poetry-size bits.” Author Ann Patchett says the book has the makings of “an American classic … beautifully written, masterfully structured and brimming with insight into the natural world.” Actress Reese Witherspoon says Renkl “is the most beautiful writer. I love this book.” “Late Migrations” has been featured on NPR and in Garden & Gun and People magazines, among others.

It’s all a bit surprising to Renkl, who graduated from Auburn University with a degree in English in 1984 and earned her master’s at the University of South Carolina.

“The structure is unusual, and the subject is often sad,” Renkl says. “It’s a meditation on grief some ways, and I think we as a culture aren’t comfortable talking about death and grief. I’ve been surprised and heartened by the response.”

Renkl was born in Andalusia, but she moved to Birmingham while in first grade.

“The world I lived in in Birmingham was completely different from the world I lived in heretofore,” she says. “We went back to lower Alabama all the time, because my grandparents still lived there. That was pretty foundational for the way I think of my growing-up years.”

Renkl’s father was in real estate development, building apartment complexes, and she and her family would move from site to site, wherever her father’s company was building a complex.

“It’s a little ironic that I spent so much time in the outdoors, because we were living in the woods that my father’s company was tearing down,” says Renkl, who graduated from Homewood High School.

She and her brother, Billy, an artist who provided illustrations for “Late Migrations,” forged their collaboration early on with childhood books of poetry and illustrations. Later, Billy would be her art director when she was editor of her high school newspaper and also when she was editor of the Circle literary magazine at Auburn.

After graduate school, Renkl taught high school, but in her 10th year of teaching, she found herself on bed rest while pregnant with her second child, and since she couldn’t teach, she had to “find a way to make some money.”

She launched a 12-year freelancing career with an essay for Glamour magazine and later edited Chapter 16, an online journal for Humanities Tennessee, for 10 years.

After that, The New York Times, a publication she had failed to sell freelance essays to after several tries, came calling, and she began writing for The End. The Times soon hired her to write a regular monthly column, and six months later, they asked her to write weekly.

“I asked for my first contract to be six months instead of a year, because I wasn’t completely convinced I could come up with something every week,” Renkl says. “Then I signed a contract for a year, then another for a year. I’m pretty happy with the arrangement.”

As a regular writer for The Times, Renkl writes about “flora, fauna, politics and culture in the American South,” according to the newspaper. She has written about her familyanimals and politics.

In the meantime, Renkl was continuing to write essays about her family – the grief of losing her mother, mother-in-law and, earlier, her father – and, thanks to her disdain for the 2016 political season and its aftermath, nature. “I started writing a little nature blog that had pretty much zero audience, but writing about the natural world reminded me that what was happening in the political arena was only temporary,” she says. “At some point, the other women in my writer’s group said, ‘You know this is a book, right? … This is a book about longing and loss in many different contexts.’”

Milkweed Editions agreed and worked with Renkl on “Late Migrations,” which includes memoir-type essays along with essays on nature and drawings by her brother.

“This was his family, too,” Renkl says. “So it seemed natural to me to have my story of my family include work by him. … Also, Billy’s artwork is very often about birds and insects and stars and flowers and leaves.”

Initially, Renkl paired her work with pieces her brother had already created, but he ended up creating 20 original pieces for “Late Migrations.”

“As I was reading the early drafts of the book, I came to realize that I wanted to use my voice to amplify the beautiful connections between Margaret’s backyard observations of nature and her stories about our family,” Billy Renkl says. “Eventually, I decided to aim for a carefully calibrated relationship between images that seemed to reference the history of wildlife identification guidebooks and family photo albums – images that were equal parts objective observation and idiosyncratic family myth.”

Though some have referred to “Late Migrations” as a memoir, Renkl disagrees.

“To me, that means comprehensive and complete,” she says. “These essays make no pretense to be comprehensive. I’m not telling the story of my life. I consider it primarily to be a meditation on loss and human life and in the natural world. I took great comfort, in writing both sets of essays, in seeing how what happens to us in human life is being played out all around in the natural world.”

Renkl says her parents would have loved “Late Migrations.”

“They were so proud of me, and the book is a love letter to them,” she says. “It’s a love letter to family life, to the natural world. It’s a praise song. They would have loved that.”

Margaret Renkl will be signing “Late Migrations” on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. at Pebble Hill in Auburn; and Read Herring books, 105 S. Court St. in Montgomery, on Sept. 5. You can find her book tour schedule here.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

13 hours ago

Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing receives $3.5M Nurse Practitioner Residency Grant

Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing will receive $3.5 million over four years to place nurse practitioner graduates in rural, underserved areas for primary-care residency. The grant is the largest in Samford University’s history.

The Advanced Nursing Education – Nurse Practitioner Residency Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration is designed to prepare new nurse practitioners to deliver high-quality primary care in community-based settings. During the year-long program, nurse practitioner residents will complete academic coursework and clinical hours in underserved population locations.

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“For nearly 100 years, Ida Moffett School of Nursing has prepared well-equipped, compassionate nurses to serve the underserved,” said Nena Sanders, vice provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences and nursing school dean. “This grant affords us the opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skill sets of our graduates and intentionally place caring, competent nurse practitioners where the needs are greatest.”

The grant will facilitate the launch of the first residency program housed within the nursing school.

The program will focus on developing new family nurse practitioners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to improve the quality and safety of rural health care systems. According to professor and grant manager Stephanie Wynn, the program will place a special priority on addressing value-based care, telehealth, obesity and mental health issues.

“This residency program will distinctively position new nurse practitioners to face the complexities which occur when providing care to rural and underserved populations,” said Wynn. “Ninety-eight percent of Alabama’s counties are designated, either all or in part, as a Medically Underserved Area or a Health Professional Shortage Area. This program will transform communities by increasing the quality and quantity of primary-care providers who are trained to provide innovative, compassionate care.”

Fifty-five of Alabama’s 67 counties are considered rural, and only two of those 55 are considered to have the minimum number of providers available. According to Wynn, the state’s population-per-physician ratio well exceeds 3,000 to 1 in many rural areas. “Nearly 44% of Alabama’s population is living in rural areas, yet 70% of primary care physicians practice within Alabama’s five largest counties,” said Wynn. “Health care must shift to better meet the needs of today’s population.”

During their rotations, residents will receive training in vital telehealth technology reducing accessibility issues for patients who would otherwise need to travel long distances to seek care. “By providing residents with telehealth training, rural communities will gain direct access to specialists in the urban areas,” said Jill Cunningham, nurse practitioner department chair.

Cunningham and Wynn are leading the residency and curriculum development with the support of an interprofessional team of educators. The first cohort of 10 nurse practitioners will begin their rotations July 1, 2020.

“More than 20 years ago we launched a nurse practitioner program to fill a need within the health care system, and that vision hasn’t changed,” said Jane Martin, senior associate dean for Ida Moffett School of Nursing. “We are producing well-trained, compassionate nurse practitioners who are breaking health care accessibility barriers.”

Ida Moffett School of Nursing offers nurse practitioner coursework that is aligned with the needs of today’s heath care environment. Students choose from specialty areas such as family, emergency or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and entry points are available for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree holders. Advanced practice registered nurse, nurse practitioner certificates are also available.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

14 hours ago

Josh Laney to head Alabama Office of Apprenticeship as skills program expands

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT, announced that Josh Laney has been named director of the newly established Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA) as the state moves to expand a program that elevates the skill levels of workers.In his new role, Laney will partner with industries and education providers across the state to develop and expand traditional and industry-recognized apprenticeships for youth and adults.  He will also lead the AOA’s support of larger workforce development infrastructure for Alabama to identify and promote the recognition and use of valuable credentials.

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Laney previously served as senior director for Workforce Development at the Alabama State Department of Education, where he supported local school system efforts to align the career technical training initiatives with workforce needs.

With over 20 years of experience in education, Laney’s career path has taken him from the classroom to administrative leadership in junior high and high school settings before assuming the role of career technical director for Phenix City Schools in 2011.

Under Laney’s leadership, the AOA will expand Alabama’s registered apprenticeship opportunities, resulting in additional skilled employees in the workforce and increased economic activity for Alabama.

“The Alabama Office of Apprenticeship is a game changer. Having someone like Josh who is passionate about education and dedicated to the growth and preparedness of our workforce is a home run for Alabama,” said Castile, who heads Commerce’s Workforce Development Division.

MEETING DEMANDS

The establishment of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship represents another step in Alabama’s strategic efforts to develop a comprehensive workforce system. Apprenticeship programs allow the state to meet the current and future demands of business and industry, while also creating greater opportunities for Alabamians.

Registered apprenticeship programs are innovative work-based learning opportunities that rely on business involvement and provide on-the-job training while also providing wages from employers during training.

Apprenticeship sponsors develop highly skilled employees, while reducing turnover rates and increasing productivity.

Alabama has five industry focused sectors for apprenticeships:  Healthcare, Construction/Carpentry, Information Technology, Distribution/Transportation & Logistics and Advance Manufacturing.

“The success of Apprenticeship Alabama over the last few years made us realize that we needed to go bigger,” Castile said. “With Josh’s extensive background in workforce development and education it was natural fit for agency.”

Laney’s appointment follows the passage of Senate Bill 295, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, which not only established the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship but also expanded the Apprenticeship Alabama Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,250.

The legislation also increased the number of apprentices one employer may claim from five to 10, as well as the tax credit cap from $3 million to $7.5 million, and established the Alabama Apprenticeship Council.

The AOA will serve as the registration agency for all registered apprenticeships in the state of Alabama.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)