Alabama Workforce Council releases positive annual report amid record unemployment
The Alabama Workforce Council (AWC) submitted its annual report to Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama state legislature on Friday.
With Alabama’s unemployment level experiencing record lows, the report remained largely positive.
The highlights of what the council accomplished over the last year include establishing the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship and helping nonprofits secure $6.4 million in grant money from out-of-state organizations.
“[T]he continued efforts of the AWC and the various state agency partners in transforming our workforce are substantial,” said Governor Ivey in a press release from the council.
The Alabama Workforce Council is a group of leaders from Alabama’s business community that works in close concert with the state government to help increase the dynamism of Alabama’s workforce.
It is behind the branding of “AlabamaWorks” and “Success+,” which are often seen by close observers of Alabama’s political and business worlds.
Since 2015, the group has been housed under the Alabama Department of Commerce but often partners with other agencies and departments within the state government.
For its accomplishments in 2019 the group is touting:
- The creation of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship
- Establishing the Alabama Committee on Credentialing and Career Pathways
- Laying the technological groundwork for sharing more information across agencies
- The completion of statewide surveys to better understand why some working-age people remain on the sidelines during record unemployment.
- The providing of assistance in the procurement of grants by over 30 nonprofits in the state, all of whose goals include expanding economic opportunity.
- The identifying of 17 “population segments” that could provide additional people to the workforce.
The report also lightly acknowledged the challenges the state will face in meeting the much-discussed 500,000 skilled workers by 2025 benchmark. Those challenges were more deeply fleshed out in recent reports by the Business Education Alliance and Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth’s 21st Century Workforce Commission.
“Success breeds new challenges. To meet ever-growing workforce needs in an expanding economy, we have to find ways to bring working-age Alabamians sitting on the sidelines back into the workforce and address our low workforce participation rate,” wrote Council chair Tim McCartney and vice-chair Sandra Koblas in their joint letter that begins the full report.
They added, “To do that and to ensure our workforce is prepared for the future, we are working hard to help implement the Success Plus plan and to ensure that Alabama residents are able to earn valuable credentials, certificates, and degrees that will provide a pathway to greater employment opportunities.”
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.