The Wire

  • Dale Jackson: As long as Nancy Worley leads the Alabama Democratic Party, they will remain stuck on the toilet

    Excerpt:

    In December of 2014, Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley wrote a Christmas letter, and it included details about an embarrassing ordeal where she was unable to get off the toilet, which is still a pretty good metaphor for Alabama Democrats.

    “April brought another trauma to my knees which balked when I tried to rise from my lowly 14″ commode. Again, I sat for hours awaiting Wade’s scheduled arrival; however, his attempt to lift me was futile—when he pulled me up, he fell backwards and I fell on my knees again. Solution: we installed the tallest available, 17 1/2 inch commode and a pull-up bar on my bathroom wall,” Worley wrote.

    The current head of the Alabama Democratic Party, who just won re-election, has overseen a pretty embarrassing period for her party. The only real victory that she can claim is the election of Senator Doug Jones. But even that victory was nothing to write home about. Most observers believe that election result was more about the national media descending on Roy Moore during the special election than the strength of Worley’s Democratic Party.

    And Jones’ failed wish that Worley be removed shows anyone watching that he doesn’t give her any credit; he wanted her gone and he explained to the Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman that the Alabama Democratic Party has issues he wants addressed without Worley at the helm:

  • ‘The Lord had his hand on me’: Alabama pastor struck by lightning after church service

    Excerpt:

    Pastor Ricky Adams, of the Argo Church of God in Walker County, was struck by lightning after the church’s service on Sunday.

    The Argo Area Volunteer Fire Department dispatched to the scene and discovered church members already assisting Adams upon their arrival.

    The pastor, who had been hit indirectly by a lightning strike, did not sustain any major injuries and did not even need to be transported to the hospital.

  • Alabama ranks second worst state for having a baby

    Excerpt:

    A newly-published ranking of states judges Alabama to be the 50th best – or 2nd worst – state in which to have a baby.

    The ranking, developed by the personal finance website WalletHub, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia using four categories: cost, health care, baby-friendliness and family-friendliness.

    Its cost metric includes things like average cost of insurance premiums, cost of newborn screening and average annual cost of early childcare.

West AlabamaWorks! is bridging the gap between workforce and industry

(AlabamaWorks!/Facebook)

The workforce in West Alabama is changing with the help of West AlabamaWorks! They want to let people in the workforce know that being in healthcare does not strictly mean you are just a doctor or a nurse. There are hundreds of other job opportunities out there in hospitals, doctors offices, and insurance. Peggy Sease is Vice President of Human Resources and shares how her experience has led her to the position to work between the workforce and employers. The same goes for Lori Royer, HR Director, as she tells us what the industry is searching for in future candidates: attendance, diligent in all your duties, and have critical thinking skills. Our state has so many talented people, and Lori and Peggy are shrinking the gap between workforce and the industry with West AlabamaWorks!

16

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Marion Mayor uses tools to prep residents for AlabamaWorks Success Plus Initiative

(Contributed)

By: Dexter Hinton, Mayor of Marion, Alabama

When I was elected in late 2016 as Mayor of Marion, I knew there were certain areas in which our town needed to improve. One was education and work preparedness for those who did not want to attend a four-year college. We had gaps that needed to be filled.

As an Industrial Maintenance and Robotics Instructor at the Career Center in Greene County, I know what resources are available to assist those seeking a job or a skills education. When people come to the center, our team has a plethora of tests, assessments, job listings, resume-building sessions and other items at our disposal to help folks get the right position or training that matches their needs or abilities.

587

As Mayor, I realized we needed to get educational tools to Marion residents, especially after Moller Tech announced that it would be locating in Bibb County, adjacent to Perry County, and bringing 222 jobs with it. But with a small town like Marion (population 3,432) not having a dedicated resource center, we didn’t quite know how to unite the two. Then one day, I attended a Central AlabamaWorks meeting and saw AIDT’s mobile unit, which is the Department of Commerce’s skills education center on wheels.

I spoke with Mikki Ruttan, director of Central AlabamaWorks, after the meeting and asked her about the possibility of getting the unit to our area. I learned it could be customized for the needs of its audience. After numerous discussions with other local leaders, we selected basic resume building and a Ready-to-Work course as the initial offerings. I knew the mobile unit would be key in obtaining career readiness for the citizens of Marion. I also felt that our citizens would welcome the chance to improve their skills and knowledge base.

After dozens of conversations, we got the mobile unit scheduled this past April. We posted and delivered flyers all over the city, announcing when and where the unit would be located, and we created a Facebook page. We had no idea what kind of response we would have for this type of educational opportunity. But, our citizens realized how such training could give them a leg up in the job market. As a result, they turned out in droves to learn more and better position themselves for entry into the job market, or to simply upgrade their skill set.

With Gov. Kay Ivey’s Success Plus initiative rollout a few months ago, I knew we had to get our citizens more training to help them, and our state, reach the goal of 500,000 people with post-high-school credentials by 2025. The mobile training unit seemed like the perfect way to deliver those opportunities to our residents.

After some discussion, we were able to get the unit at The Lincoln School. We focused the training on Ready-to-Work. The classes filled immediately, and a waiting list soon formed. Our people were eager to gain knowledge to improve their lives and that of their families. Once they completed the course, they received credentials as an Alabama Certified Worker; a Career Readiness certificate; a free three-credit-hour course at Wallace Community College Selma (if they had a high school diploma); three credits toward a high school diploma (if they didn’t have one); and a referral to the Selma Career Center for free certificates or degree information from WCC in welding, industrial maintenance, electrical technology or nursing.

The unit has been so popular with our citizens that two classrooms are now being refurbished at The Lincoln School specifically for AIDT courses. This means we will have a permanent place for our people to get not only Ready-to-Work training, but also training in other much-needed professions offered by Wallace, such as cosmetology, carpentry, welding, automotive technician and others.

The excitement continues to build for our city. In fact, AIDT has already completed one Ready-to-Work training with several graduates who have received employment.

With the extra effort by Central AlabamaWorks, AIDT, the Career Centers and the Alabama Community College System – combined with the excitement and work ethic of our citizens – I know Marionites can and will be a valued part of the Success Plus endeavor. I look forward to seeing what our citizens can achieve for themselves, their families and our community.

Marion Mayor uses tools to prep residents for AlabamaWorks Success Plus Initiative

(Contributed)

By: Dexter Hinton, Mayor of Marion, Alabama

When I was elected in late 2016 as Mayor of Marion, I knew there were certain areas in which our town needed to improve. One was education and work preparedness for those who did not want to attend a four-year college. We had gaps that needed to be filled.

As an Industrial Maintenance and Robotics Instructor at the Career Center in Greene County, I know what resources are available to assist those seeking a job or a skills education. When people come to the center, our team has a plethora of tests, assessments, job listings, resume-building sessions and other items at our disposal to help folks get the right position or training that matches their needs or abilities.

587

As Mayor, I realized we needed to get educational tools to Marion residents, especially after Moller Tech announced that it would be locating in Bibb County, adjacent to Perry County, and bringing 222 jobs with it. But with a small town like Marion (population 3,432) not having a dedicated resource center, we didn’t quite know how to unite the two. Then one day, I attended a Central AlabamaWorks meeting and saw AIDT’s mobile unit, which is the Department of Commerce’s skills education center on wheels.

I spoke with Mikki Ruttan, director of Central AlabamaWorks, after the meeting and asked her about the possibility of getting the unit to our area. I learned it could be customized for the needs of its audience. After numerous discussions with other local leaders, we selected basic resume building and a Ready-to-Work course as the initial offerings. I knew the mobile unit would be key in obtaining career readiness for the citizens of Marion. I also felt that our citizens would welcome the chance to improve their skills and knowledge base.

After dozens of conversations, we got the mobile unit scheduled this past April. We posted and delivered flyers all over the city, announcing when and where the unit would be located, and we created a Facebook page. We had no idea what kind of response we would have for this type of educational opportunity. But, our citizens realized how such training could give them a leg up in the job market. As a result, they turned out in droves to learn more and better position themselves for entry into the job market, or to simply upgrade their skill set.

With Gov. Kay Ivey’s Success Plus initiative rollout a few months ago, I knew we had to get our citizens more training to help them, and our state, reach the goal of 500,000 people with post-high-school credentials by 2025. The mobile training unit seemed like the perfect way to deliver those opportunities to our residents.

After some discussion, we were able to get the unit at The Lincoln School. We focused the training on Ready-to-Work. The classes filled immediately, and a waiting list soon formed. Our people were eager to gain knowledge to improve their lives and that of their families. Once they completed the course, they received credentials as an Alabama Certified Worker; a Career Readiness certificate; a free three-credit-hour course at Wallace Community College Selma (if they had a high school diploma); three credits toward a high school diploma (if they didn’t have one); and a referral to the Selma Career Center for free certificates or degree information from WCC in welding, industrial maintenance, electrical technology or nursing.

The unit has been so popular with our citizens that two classrooms are now being refurbished at The Lincoln School specifically for AIDT courses. This means we will have a permanent place for our people to get not only Ready-to-Work training, but also training in other much-needed professions offered by Wallace, such as cosmetology, carpentry, welding, automotive technician and others.

The excitement continues to build for our city. In fact, AIDT has already completed one Ready-to-Work training with several graduates who have received employment.

With the extra effort by Central AlabamaWorks, AIDT, the Career Centers and the Alabama Community College System – combined with the excitement and work ethic of our citizens – I know Marionites can and will be a valued part of the Success Plus endeavor. I look forward to seeing what our citizens can achieve for themselves, their families and our community.

Marion Mayor uses tools to prep residents for AlabamaWorks Success Plus Initiative

(Contributed)

By: Dexter Hinton, Mayor of Marion, Alabama

When I was elected in late 2016 as Mayor of Marion, I knew there were certain areas in which our town needed to improve. One was education and work preparedness for those who did not want to attend a four-year college. We had gaps that needed to be filled.

As an Industrial Maintenance and Robotics Instructor at the Career Center in Greene County, I know what resources are available to assist those seeking a job or a skills education. When people come to the center, our team has a plethora of tests, assessments, job listings, resume-building sessions and other items at our disposal to help folks get the right position or training that matches their needs or abilities.

587

As Mayor, I realized we needed to get educational tools to Marion residents, especially after Moller Tech announced that it would be locating in Bibb County, adjacent to Perry County, and bringing 222 jobs with it. But with a small town like Marion (population 3,432) not having a dedicated resource center, we didn’t quite know how to unite the two. Then one day, I attended a Central AlabamaWorks meeting and saw AIDT’s mobile unit, which is the Department of Commerce’s skills education center on wheels.

I spoke with Mikki Ruttan, director of Central AlabamaWorks, after the meeting and asked her about the possibility of getting the unit to our area. I learned it could be customized for the needs of its audience. After numerous discussions with other local leaders, we selected basic resume building and a Ready-to-Work course as the initial offerings. I knew the mobile unit would be key in obtaining career readiness for the citizens of Marion. I also felt that our citizens would welcome the chance to improve their skills and knowledge base.

After dozens of conversations, we got the mobile unit scheduled this past April. We posted and delivered flyers all over the city, announcing when and where the unit would be located, and we created a Facebook page. We had no idea what kind of response we would have for this type of educational opportunity. But, our citizens realized how such training could give them a leg up in the job market. As a result, they turned out in droves to learn more and better position themselves for entry into the job market, or to simply upgrade their skill set.

With Gov. Kay Ivey’s Success Plus initiative rollout a few months ago, I knew we had to get our citizens more training to help them, and our state, reach the goal of 500,000 people with post-high-school credentials by 2025. The mobile training unit seemed like the perfect way to deliver those opportunities to our residents.

After some discussion, we were able to get the unit at The Lincoln School. We focused the training on Ready-to-Work. The classes filled immediately, and a waiting list soon formed. Our people were eager to gain knowledge to improve their lives and that of their families. Once they completed the course, they received credentials as an Alabama Certified Worker; a Career Readiness certificate; a free three-credit-hour course at Wallace Community College Selma (if they had a high school diploma); three credits toward a high school diploma (if they didn’t have one); and a referral to the Selma Career Center for free certificates or degree information from WCC in welding, industrial maintenance, electrical technology or nursing.

The unit has been so popular with our citizens that two classrooms are now being refurbished at The Lincoln School specifically for AIDT courses. This means we will have a permanent place for our people to get not only Ready-to-Work training, but also training in other much-needed professions offered by Wallace, such as cosmetology, carpentry, welding, automotive technician and others.

The excitement continues to build for our city. In fact, AIDT has already completed one Ready-to-Work training with several graduates who have received employment.

With the extra effort by Central AlabamaWorks, AIDT, the Career Centers and the Alabama Community College System – combined with the excitement and work ethic of our citizens – I know Marionites can and will be a valued part of the Success Plus endeavor. I look forward to seeing what our citizens can achieve for themselves, their families and our community.

Marion Mayor uses tools to prep residents for AlabamaWorks Success Plus Initiative

(Contributed)

By: Dexter Hinton, Mayor of Marion, Alabama

When I was elected in late 2016 as Mayor of Marion, I knew there were certain areas in which our town needed to improve. One was education and work preparedness for those who did not want to attend a four-year college. We had gaps that needed to be filled.

As an Industrial Maintenance and Robotics Instructor at the Career Center in Greene County, I know what resources are available to assist those seeking a job or a skills education. When people come to the center, our team has a plethora of tests, assessments, job listings, resume-building sessions and other items at our disposal to help folks get the right position or training that matches their needs or abilities.

587

As Mayor, I realized we needed to get educational tools to Marion residents, especially after Moller Tech announced that it would be locating in Bibb County, adjacent to Perry County, and bringing 222 jobs with it. But with a small town like Marion (population 3,432) not having a dedicated resource center, we didn’t quite know how to unite the two. Then one day, I attended a Central AlabamaWorks meeting and saw AIDT’s mobile unit, which is the Department of Commerce’s skills education center on wheels.

I spoke with Mikki Ruttan, director of Central AlabamaWorks, after the meeting and asked her about the possibility of getting the unit to our area. I learned it could be customized for the needs of its audience. After numerous discussions with other local leaders, we selected basic resume building and a Ready-to-Work course as the initial offerings. I knew the mobile unit would be key in obtaining career readiness for the citizens of Marion. I also felt that our citizens would welcome the chance to improve their skills and knowledge base.

After dozens of conversations, we got the mobile unit scheduled this past April. We posted and delivered flyers all over the city, announcing when and where the unit would be located, and we created a Facebook page. We had no idea what kind of response we would have for this type of educational opportunity. But, our citizens realized how such training could give them a leg up in the job market. As a result, they turned out in droves to learn more and better position themselves for entry into the job market, or to simply upgrade their skill set.

With Gov. Kay Ivey’s Success Plus initiative rollout a few months ago, I knew we had to get our citizens more training to help them, and our state, reach the goal of 500,000 people with post-high-school credentials by 2025. The mobile training unit seemed like the perfect way to deliver those opportunities to our residents.

After some discussion, we were able to get the unit at The Lincoln School. We focused the training on Ready-to-Work. The classes filled immediately, and a waiting list soon formed. Our people were eager to gain knowledge to improve their lives and that of their families. Once they completed the course, they received credentials as an Alabama Certified Worker; a Career Readiness certificate; a free three-credit-hour course at Wallace Community College Selma (if they had a high school diploma); three credits toward a high school diploma (if they didn’t have one); and a referral to the Selma Career Center for free certificates or degree information from WCC in welding, industrial maintenance, electrical technology or nursing.

The unit has been so popular with our citizens that two classrooms are now being refurbished at The Lincoln School specifically for AIDT courses. This means we will have a permanent place for our people to get not only Ready-to-Work training, but also training in other much-needed professions offered by Wallace, such as cosmetology, carpentry, welding, automotive technician and others.

The excitement continues to build for our city. In fact, AIDT has already completed one Ready-to-Work training with several graduates who have received employment.

With the extra effort by Central AlabamaWorks, AIDT, the Career Centers and the Alabama Community College System – combined with the excitement and work ethic of our citizens – I know Marionites can and will be a valued part of the Success Plus endeavor. I look forward to seeing what our citizens can achieve for themselves, their families and our community.

Who is building Alabama’s next workforce? AlabamaWorks! is.

(AlabamaWorks!/Facebook)

Mike Ruttan of Central AlabamaWorks! Joined The Ford Faction to talk about what’s been going on recently with AlabamaWorks! The initiative they have is to “Develop strategic alliances by building and expanding effective industry partnerships.”  The Career Expo for 8th Graders will be held on Sept. 13 and 14 at Southern Union in Opelika.

16

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

Groups, initiatives align under AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

One of the Alabama Workforce Council’s recommendations was to reorganize the state’s 10 workforce regions into seven. The Legislature approved funding for staff to run these councils, and these regional workforce directors work closely with the business community as well as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Community College System, K-12, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Career Center System and other related agencies, to identify and meet the needs of industry and workers. In addition, Commerce and the ACCS have assigned liaisons who link each region to workforce training and other resources.

641

The legislature also required that at least 75 percent of the voting members come from the business community within each region. This raises the level of engagement with Alabama businesses.

Another significant change in the streamlining of workforce development was the realignment of the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act program. The three local WIOA boards were expanded to seven and aligned with the seven workforce areas. Many business leaders from around the state were appointed to the state’s WIOA board and, in some areas, to the local boards. Again, this change has resulted in a more even approach to WIOA funding and a significant increase in business engagement across the state.

In 2016, the Legislature approved the creation of Apprenticeship Alabama, designed to increase the number of apprentices to assist companies in building their pipeline of workers.
In its first year, 2017, Apprenticeship Alabama significantly increased the number of apprentices statewide. And while the modest tax credit was a new benefit to companies, the fact that there was an office dedicated to helping businesses register their programs with the U.S. Department of Labor enabled the program to grow. Navigating the waters of federal registration can be tedious, but the Apprenticeship Alabama staff, along with the regional councils, are dedicated to assisting companies with the expansion of this training program.

At first glance, the various components of workforce development appear to be separate entities with separate goals. When you look closer, however, they form the backbone of Gov. Ivey’s recently announced AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The Success Plus education attainment initiative is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Strong Start. Strong Finish” endeavor. Ivey announced that by 2025, Alabama MUST have 500,000 additional workers who have more than a high school diploma.

Many high schools and career technical programs offer students credentials that qualify within Success Plus. Some students involved in dual-enrollment programs with the ACCS receive not only a high school diploma, but an associate degree or certificate.

Without doubt, one of the most important factors in the development of Alabama’s workforce system has the foresight and the wok of the Alabama Workforce Council, a business-led advisory group for the governor, the Legislature and agency heads. Under the Chairmanship of Zeke Smith, from Alabama Power, the council has provided the sounding board needed by among business and state leaders and the vehicle for candid discussions about workforce development initiatives. The importance of the AWC cannot be understated.

Finally, workforce development in this state would not be complete without the work of AIDT. AIDT is Alabama’s workforce training incentive program. It assists both existing businesses in expansion and new businesses moving to the state. AIDT is consistently ranked in the top three training incentive programs in the country, and we are extremely proud of our ranking. Day in and day out, AIDT staff are boots on the ground assisting more than 130 projects across the state helping fill thousands of jobs.

Of course, the best entry point to any job-seekers is the 50-plus Alabama Career Centers located strategically across Alabama, managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

When you build a team, the goal is to be the best. This involves uniting team members who are good at a particular position. On their own, they may not make a significant impact. But working as a unit, they perform like a well-oiled machine. During the past four years, we’ve been putting this team together, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.

Why does this matter to you? Simply said, these changes, these new initiatives, program improvements and alignments will keep Alabama in the game for new industry and jobs. We must have an educated and skilled workforce for our businesses in the world to come.

For more information about these and other programs within Alabama’s education and workforce infrastructure, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Ed Castile is deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT.

Groups, initiatives align under AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

One of the Alabama Workforce Council’s recommendations was to reorganize the state’s 10 workforce regions into seven. The Legislature approved funding for staff to run these councils, and these regional workforce directors work closely with the business community as well as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Community College System, K-12, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Career Center System and other related agencies, to identify and meet the needs of industry and workers. In addition, Commerce and the ACCS have assigned liaisons who link each region to workforce training and other resources.

641

The legislature also required that at least 75 percent of the voting members come from the business community within each region. This raises the level of engagement with Alabama businesses.

Another significant change in the streamlining of workforce development was the realignment of the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act program. The three local WIOA boards were expanded to seven and aligned with the seven workforce areas. Many business leaders from around the state were appointed to the state’s WIOA board and, in some areas, to the local boards. Again, this change has resulted in a more even approach to WIOA funding and a significant increase in business engagement across the state.

In 2016, the Legislature approved the creation of Apprenticeship Alabama, designed to increase the number of apprentices to assist companies in building their pipeline of workers.
In its first year, 2017, Apprenticeship Alabama significantly increased the number of apprentices statewide. And while the modest tax credit was a new benefit to companies, the fact that there was an office dedicated to helping businesses register their programs with the U.S. Department of Labor enabled the program to grow. Navigating the waters of federal registration can be tedious, but the Apprenticeship Alabama staff, along with the regional councils, are dedicated to assisting companies with the expansion of this training program.

At first glance, the various components of workforce development appear to be separate entities with separate goals. When you look closer, however, they form the backbone of Gov. Ivey’s recently announced AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The Success Plus education attainment initiative is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Strong Start. Strong Finish” endeavor. Ivey announced that by 2025, Alabama MUST have 500,000 additional workers who have more than a high school diploma.

Many high schools and career technical programs offer students credentials that qualify within Success Plus. Some students involved in dual-enrollment programs with the ACCS receive not only a high school diploma, but an associate degree or certificate.

Without doubt, one of the most important factors in the development of Alabama’s workforce system has the foresight and the wok of the Alabama Workforce Council, a business-led advisory group for the governor, the Legislature and agency heads. Under the Chairmanship of Zeke Smith, from Alabama Power, the council has provided the sounding board needed by among business and state leaders and the vehicle for candid discussions about workforce development initiatives. The importance of the AWC cannot be understated.

Finally, workforce development in this state would not be complete without the work of AIDT. AIDT is Alabama’s workforce training incentive program. It assists both existing businesses in expansion and new businesses moving to the state. AIDT is consistently ranked in the top three training incentive programs in the country, and we are extremely proud of our ranking. Day in and day out, AIDT staff are boots on the ground assisting more than 130 projects across the state helping fill thousands of jobs.

Of course, the best entry point to any job-seekers is the 50-plus Alabama Career Centers located strategically across Alabama, managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

When you build a team, the goal is to be the best. This involves uniting team members who are good at a particular position. On their own, they may not make a significant impact. But working as a unit, they perform like a well-oiled machine. During the past four years, we’ve been putting this team together, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.

Why does this matter to you? Simply said, these changes, these new initiatives, program improvements and alignments will keep Alabama in the game for new industry and jobs. We must have an educated and skilled workforce for our businesses in the world to come.

For more information about these and other programs within Alabama’s education and workforce infrastructure, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Ed Castile is deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT.

Groups, initiatives align under AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

One of the Alabama Workforce Council’s recommendations was to reorganize the state’s 10 workforce regions into seven. The Legislature approved funding for staff to run these councils, and these regional workforce directors work closely with the business community as well as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Community College System, K-12, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Career Center System and other related agencies, to identify and meet the needs of industry and workers. In addition, Commerce and the ACCS have assigned liaisons who link each region to workforce training and other resources.

641

The legislature also required that at least 75 percent of the voting members come from the business community within each region. This raises the level of engagement with Alabama businesses.

Another significant change in the streamlining of workforce development was the realignment of the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act program. The three local WIOA boards were expanded to seven and aligned with the seven workforce areas. Many business leaders from around the state were appointed to the state’s WIOA board and, in some areas, to the local boards. Again, this change has resulted in a more even approach to WIOA funding and a significant increase in business engagement across the state.

In 2016, the Legislature approved the creation of Apprenticeship Alabama, designed to increase the number of apprentices to assist companies in building their pipeline of workers.
In its first year, 2017, Apprenticeship Alabama significantly increased the number of apprentices statewide. And while the modest tax credit was a new benefit to companies, the fact that there was an office dedicated to helping businesses register their programs with the U.S. Department of Labor enabled the program to grow. Navigating the waters of federal registration can be tedious, but the Apprenticeship Alabama staff, along with the regional councils, are dedicated to assisting companies with the expansion of this training program.

At first glance, the various components of workforce development appear to be separate entities with separate goals. When you look closer, however, they form the backbone of Gov. Ivey’s recently announced AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The Success Plus education attainment initiative is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Strong Start. Strong Finish” endeavor. Ivey announced that by 2025, Alabama MUST have 500,000 additional workers who have more than a high school diploma.

Many high schools and career technical programs offer students credentials that qualify within Success Plus. Some students involved in dual-enrollment programs with the ACCS receive not only a high school diploma, but an associate degree or certificate.

Without doubt, one of the most important factors in the development of Alabama’s workforce system has the foresight and the wok of the Alabama Workforce Council, a business-led advisory group for the governor, the Legislature and agency heads. Under the Chairmanship of Zeke Smith, from Alabama Power, the council has provided the sounding board needed by among business and state leaders and the vehicle for candid discussions about workforce development initiatives. The importance of the AWC cannot be understated.

Finally, workforce development in this state would not be complete without the work of AIDT. AIDT is Alabama’s workforce training incentive program. It assists both existing businesses in expansion and new businesses moving to the state. AIDT is consistently ranked in the top three training incentive programs in the country, and we are extremely proud of our ranking. Day in and day out, AIDT staff are boots on the ground assisting more than 130 projects across the state helping fill thousands of jobs.

Of course, the best entry point to any job-seekers is the 50-plus Alabama Career Centers located strategically across Alabama, managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

When you build a team, the goal is to be the best. This involves uniting team members who are good at a particular position. On their own, they may not make a significant impact. But working as a unit, they perform like a well-oiled machine. During the past four years, we’ve been putting this team together, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.

Why does this matter to you? Simply said, these changes, these new initiatives, program improvements and alignments will keep Alabama in the game for new industry and jobs. We must have an educated and skilled workforce for our businesses in the world to come.

For more information about these and other programs within Alabama’s education and workforce infrastructure, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Ed Castile is deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT.

Groups, initiatives align under AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

One of the Alabama Workforce Council’s recommendations was to reorganize the state’s 10 workforce regions into seven. The Legislature approved funding for staff to run these councils, and these regional workforce directors work closely with the business community as well as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Community College System, K-12, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Career Center System and other related agencies, to identify and meet the needs of industry and workers. In addition, Commerce and the ACCS have assigned liaisons who link each region to workforce training and other resources.

641

The legislature also required that at least 75 percent of the voting members come from the business community within each region. This raises the level of engagement with Alabama businesses.

Another significant change in the streamlining of workforce development was the realignment of the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act program. The three local WIOA boards were expanded to seven and aligned with the seven workforce areas. Many business leaders from around the state were appointed to the state’s WIOA board and, in some areas, to the local boards. Again, this change has resulted in a more even approach to WIOA funding and a significant increase in business engagement across the state.

In 2016, the Legislature approved the creation of Apprenticeship Alabama, designed to increase the number of apprentices to assist companies in building their pipeline of workers.
In its first year, 2017, Apprenticeship Alabama significantly increased the number of apprentices statewide. And while the modest tax credit was a new benefit to companies, the fact that there was an office dedicated to helping businesses register their programs with the U.S. Department of Labor enabled the program to grow. Navigating the waters of federal registration can be tedious, but the Apprenticeship Alabama staff, along with the regional councils, are dedicated to assisting companies with the expansion of this training program.

At first glance, the various components of workforce development appear to be separate entities with separate goals. When you look closer, however, they form the backbone of Gov. Ivey’s recently announced AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The Success Plus education attainment initiative is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Strong Start. Strong Finish” endeavor. Ivey announced that by 2025, Alabama MUST have 500,000 additional workers who have more than a high school diploma.

Many high schools and career technical programs offer students credentials that qualify within Success Plus. Some students involved in dual-enrollment programs with the ACCS receive not only a high school diploma, but an associate degree or certificate.

Without doubt, one of the most important factors in the development of Alabama’s workforce system has the foresight and the wok of the Alabama Workforce Council, a business-led advisory group for the governor, the Legislature and agency heads. Under the Chairmanship of Zeke Smith, from Alabama Power, the council has provided the sounding board needed by among business and state leaders and the vehicle for candid discussions about workforce development initiatives. The importance of the AWC cannot be understated.

Finally, workforce development in this state would not be complete without the work of AIDT. AIDT is Alabama’s workforce training incentive program. It assists both existing businesses in expansion and new businesses moving to the state. AIDT is consistently ranked in the top three training incentive programs in the country, and we are extremely proud of our ranking. Day in and day out, AIDT staff are boots on the ground assisting more than 130 projects across the state helping fill thousands of jobs.

Of course, the best entry point to any job-seekers is the 50-plus Alabama Career Centers located strategically across Alabama, managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

When you build a team, the goal is to be the best. This involves uniting team members who are good at a particular position. On their own, they may not make a significant impact. But working as a unit, they perform like a well-oiled machine. During the past four years, we’ve been putting this team together, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.

Why does this matter to you? Simply said, these changes, these new initiatives, program improvements and alignments will keep Alabama in the game for new industry and jobs. We must have an educated and skilled workforce for our businesses in the world to come.

For more information about these and other programs within Alabama’s education and workforce infrastructure, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Ed Castile is deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT.

Groups, initiatives align under AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

One of the Alabama Workforce Council’s recommendations was to reorganize the state’s 10 workforce regions into seven. The Legislature approved funding for staff to run these councils, and these regional workforce directors work closely with the business community as well as the Alabama Department of Commerce, Alabama Community College System, K-12, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Career Center System and other related agencies, to identify and meet the needs of industry and workers. In addition, Commerce and the ACCS have assigned liaisons who link each region to workforce training and other resources.

641

The legislature also required that at least 75 percent of the voting members come from the business community within each region. This raises the level of engagement with Alabama businesses.

Another significant change in the streamlining of workforce development was the realignment of the Workforce Innovations Opportunity Act program. The three local WIOA boards were expanded to seven and aligned with the seven workforce areas. Many business leaders from around the state were appointed to the state’s WIOA board and, in some areas, to the local boards. Again, this change has resulted in a more even approach to WIOA funding and a significant increase in business engagement across the state.

In 2016, the Legislature approved the creation of Apprenticeship Alabama, designed to increase the number of apprentices to assist companies in building their pipeline of workers.
In its first year, 2017, Apprenticeship Alabama significantly increased the number of apprentices statewide. And while the modest tax credit was a new benefit to companies, the fact that there was an office dedicated to helping businesses register their programs with the U.S. Department of Labor enabled the program to grow. Navigating the waters of federal registration can be tedious, but the Apprenticeship Alabama staff, along with the regional councils, are dedicated to assisting companies with the expansion of this training program.

At first glance, the various components of workforce development appear to be separate entities with separate goals. When you look closer, however, they form the backbone of Gov. Ivey’s recently announced AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The Success Plus education attainment initiative is the cornerstone of the governor’s “Strong Start. Strong Finish” endeavor. Ivey announced that by 2025, Alabama MUST have 500,000 additional workers who have more than a high school diploma.

Many high schools and career technical programs offer students credentials that qualify within Success Plus. Some students involved in dual-enrollment programs with the ACCS receive not only a high school diploma, but an associate degree or certificate.

Without doubt, one of the most important factors in the development of Alabama’s workforce system has the foresight and the wok of the Alabama Workforce Council, a business-led advisory group for the governor, the Legislature and agency heads. Under the Chairmanship of Zeke Smith, from Alabama Power, the council has provided the sounding board needed by among business and state leaders and the vehicle for candid discussions about workforce development initiatives. The importance of the AWC cannot be understated.

Finally, workforce development in this state would not be complete without the work of AIDT. AIDT is Alabama’s workforce training incentive program. It assists both existing businesses in expansion and new businesses moving to the state. AIDT is consistently ranked in the top three training incentive programs in the country, and we are extremely proud of our ranking. Day in and day out, AIDT staff are boots on the ground assisting more than 130 projects across the state helping fill thousands of jobs.

Of course, the best entry point to any job-seekers is the 50-plus Alabama Career Centers located strategically across Alabama, managed by the Alabama Department of Labor.

When you build a team, the goal is to be the best. This involves uniting team members who are good at a particular position. On their own, they may not make a significant impact. But working as a unit, they perform like a well-oiled machine. During the past four years, we’ve been putting this team together, and we’re seeing the fruits of our labor.

Why does this matter to you? Simply said, these changes, these new initiatives, program improvements and alignments will keep Alabama in the game for new industry and jobs. We must have an educated and skilled workforce for our businesses in the world to come.

For more information about these and other programs within Alabama’s education and workforce infrastructure, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Ed Castile is deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT.

“Workforce development is our goal for the state of Alabama”- Antiqua Cleggett, Executive Director of Central Six AlabamaWorks!  

(AlabamaWorks!/YouTube)

AlabamaWorks! made a visit to The Ford Faction to talk about the Central Six most recent work in the central 6 counties of Alabama.

Antiqua Cleggett explains “the industry as a whole has to work together” and how important it is for business, employers, and parents to be on the same page. Centralsix.org is the website for central Alabama businesses to log onto to find a talented, skilled workforce.

75

Antiqua goes onto explain, “our goal is twofold, first, to research and respond to the needs of the industry. Second, ”to find those job seekers, skilled talent, and then plug them into the workforce here in Alabama”. One of the biggest things

AlabamaWorks! wants to do is develop a skilled, strong workforce either out of college or high school to be ready for the industry Alabama is about to take on in this great state!

North AlabamaWorks! Is looking for more job pipelines, employees and employers!

(AlabamaWorks!/Facebook)

North AlabamaWorks! Joined The Ford Faction to talk about whats been going on in the company. North AlabamaWorks! is there to provide jobs to younger people who know that college is not going to be an option. AlabamaWorks! is a great company based here to show alternatives.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

1

Employer Sees Results from Apprenticeship Alabama Program

(AlabamaWorks!)

By Joe Hendrix, Kamtek Training Area Leader

As the Kamtek Training Area Leader, I see firsthand how beneficial the Apprenticeship Alabama program is both to our company and to the employees who use the skills they learn throughout their careers. Our manufacturing company utilizes the Apprenticeship Alabama program via the AlabamaWorks initiative.

We have two registered apprenticeship programs: Tool and Die and Multi-Craft Maintenance. Currently, we have 40 apprentices between the two programs. The apprentices learn skills from the partner community college and other people in the field to gain insight into why a job is done a particular way. This was the reason tool and die apprentice Austin Smith decided to apply for the apprenticeship. The nearly five-month apprentice learns from Jouneyman tool makers and assists overhead crane operators in their job responsibilities.

411

Maintenance apprentice Alan Thornton heard about the apprenticeship program as an employee through an internal job posting. He considered the apprenticeship to be a good career opportunity. Thornton enjoys working with robots and doing electrical work, which are part of the program.

It is good business for Kamtek to work with colleges to provide a portion of their training. We are able to work more closely with colleges and their technical programs to keep them informed of our needs and changes that are occurring in our industry.

Kamtek representatives present the benefits of the apprenticeship program at colleges to engage students willing to jump-start their careers. Multi-craft apprentice Brett Bynum, who assists operators in fixing breakdowns on production lines, was attracted to the opportunity for full-time employment after he completed his apprenticeship.

While Wallace State Community College serves as the main medium for Kamtek to seek apprentices, many others hear about us via word of mouth. This was the case for tool and die apprentice Daniel Gamble. Since hearing about Kamtek from his friend more than three months ago, Gamble has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the program. Multi-craft apprentice Austin Myrick, who works in assembly maintenance, chose Kamtek because of the good things that he heard about the program from his colleagues, while he was attending
community college.

Multi-craft apprentice Billy Johnson came to Kamtek with experience as an operator. In addition to completing his degree online from Wallace State Community College, he troubleshoots problems throughout the day using robotics. Like Myrick, he heard about the apprenticeship from his colleagues at school, who were also apprentices at Kamtek.

The apprenticeship program at Kamtek attracts young people from all walks of life who are eager to use the apprenticeship as a means to provide for their families. Press maintenance apprentice and Wallace State Community College student Thomas Domingue is just one example.

After seeing a job listing about the apprenticeship, he decided that applying would be a smart career move. His decision proved to be right as he enjoys the mechanical and electrical nature of the job where his responsibilities include monitoring die changes, responding to maintenance calls and assisting technicians throughout the department.

Many of our workers have seen this program as a life path for themselves and their families. This helps us to achieve our goal of employee satisfaction at Kamtek. To learn more about the apprenticeship program visit www.apprenticeshipalabama.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com for information about this and other training programs.

Employer Sees Results from Apprenticeship Alabama Program

(AlabamaWorks!)

By Joe Hendrix, Kamtek training area leader

As the Kamtek Training Area Leader, I see firsthand how beneficial the Apprenticeship Alabama program is both to our company and to the employees who use the skills they learn throughout their careers. Our manufacturing company utilizes the Apprenticeship Alabama program via the AlabamaWorks initiative.

We have two registered apprenticeship programs: Tool and Die and Multi-Craft Maintenance. Currently, we have 40 apprentices between the two programs. The apprentices learn skills from the partner community college and other people in the field to gain insight into why a job is done a particular way. This was the reason tool and die apprentice Austin Smith decided to apply for the apprenticeship. The nearly five-month apprentice learns from Jouneyman tool makers and assists overhead crane operators in their job responsibilities.

411

Maintenance apprentice Alan Thornton heard about the apprenticeship program as an employee through an internal job posting. He considered the apprenticeship to be a good career opportunity. Thornton enjoys working with robots and doing electrical work, which are part of the program.

It is good business for Kamtek to work with colleges to provide a portion of their training. We are able to work more closely with colleges and their technical programs to keep them informed of our needs and changes that are occurring in our industry.

Kamtek representatives present the benefits of the apprenticeship program at colleges to engage students willing to jump-start their careers. Multi-craft apprentice Brett Bynum, who assists operators in fixing breakdowns on production lines, was attracted to the opportunity for full-time employment after he completed his apprenticeship.

While Wallace State Community College serves as the main medium for Kamtek to seek apprentices, many others hear about us via word of mouth. This was the case for tool and die apprentice Daniel Gamble. Since hearing about Kamtek from his friend more than three months ago, Gamble has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the program. Multi-craft apprentice Austin Myrick, who works in assembly maintenance, chose Kamtek because of the good things that he heard about the program from his colleagues, while he was attending
community college.

Multi-craft apprentice Billy Johnson came to Kamtek with experience as an operator. In addition to completing his degree online from Wallace State Community College, he troubleshoots problems throughout the day using robotics. Like Myrick, he heard about the apprenticeship from his colleagues at school, who were also apprentices at Kamtek.

The apprenticeship program at Kamtek attracts young people from all walks of life who are eager to use the apprenticeship as a means to provide for their families. Press maintenance apprentice and Wallace State Community College student Thomas Domingue is just one example.

After seeing a job listing about the apprenticeship, he decided that applying would be a smart career move. His decision proved to be right as he enjoys the mechanical and electrical nature of the job where his responsibilities include monitoring die changes, responding to maintenance calls and assisting technicians throughout the department.

Many of our workers have seen this program as a life path for themselves and their families. This helps us to achieve our goal of employee satisfaction at Kamtek. To learn more about the apprenticeship program visit www.apprenticeshipalabama.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com for information about this and other training programs.

Employer Sees Results from Apprenticeship Alabama Program

(AlabamaWorks!)

By Joe Hendrix, Kamtek training area leader

As the Kamtek Training Area Leader, I see firsthand how beneficial the Apprenticeship Alabama program is both to our company and to the employees who use the skills they learn throughout their careers. Our manufacturing company utilizes the Apprenticeship Alabama program via the AlabamaWorks initiative.

We have two registered apprenticeship programs: Tool and Die and Multi-Craft Maintenance. Currently, we have 40 apprentices between the two programs. The apprentices learn skills from the partner community college and other people in the field to gain insight into why a job is done a particular way. This was the reason tool and die apprentice Austin Smith decided to apply for the apprenticeship. The nearly five-month apprentice learns from Jouneyman tool makers and assists overhead crane operators in their job responsibilities.

411

Maintenance apprentice Alan Thornton heard about the apprenticeship program as an employee through an internal job posting. He considered the apprenticeship to be a good career opportunity. Thornton enjoys working with robots and doing electrical work, which are part of the program.

It is good business for Kamtek to work with colleges to provide a portion of their training. We are able to work more closely with colleges and their technical programs to keep them informed of our needs and changes that are occurring in our industry.

Kamtek representatives present the benefits of the apprenticeship program at colleges to engage students willing to jump-start their careers. Multi-craft apprentice Brett Bynum, who assists operators in fixing breakdowns on production lines, was attracted to the opportunity for full-time employment after he completed his apprenticeship.

While Wallace State Community College serves as the main medium for Kamtek to seek apprentices, many others hear about us via word of mouth. This was the case for tool and die apprentice Daniel Gamble. Since hearing about Kamtek from his friend more than three months ago, Gamble has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the program. Multi-craft apprentice Austin Myrick, who works in assembly maintenance, chose Kamtek because of the good things that he heard about the program from his colleagues, while he was attending
community college.

Multi-craft apprentice Billy Johnson came to Kamtek with experience as an operator. In addition to completing his degree online from Wallace State Community College, he troubleshoots problems throughout the day using robotics. Like Myrick, he heard about the apprenticeship from his colleagues at school, who were also apprentices at Kamtek.

The apprenticeship program at Kamtek attracts young people from all walks of life who are eager to use the apprenticeship as a means to provide for their families. Press maintenance apprentice and Wallace State Community College student Thomas Domingue is just one example.

After seeing a job listing about the apprenticeship, he decided that applying would be a smart career move. His decision proved to be right as he enjoys the mechanical and electrical nature of the job where his responsibilities include monitoring die changes, responding to maintenance calls and assisting technicians throughout the department.

Many of our workers have seen this program as a life path for themselves and their families. This helps us to achieve our goal of employee satisfaction at Kamtek. To learn more about the apprenticeship program visit www.apprenticeshipalabama.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com for information about this and other training programs.

Employer Sees Results from Apprenticeship Alabama Program

(AlabamaWorks!)

By Joe Hendrix, Kamtek training area leader

As the Kamtek Training Area Leader, I see firsthand how beneficial the Apprenticeship Alabama program is both to our company and to the employees who use the skills they learn throughout their careers. Our manufacturing company utilizes the Apprenticeship Alabama program via the AlabamaWorks initiative.

We have two registered apprenticeship programs: Tool and Die and Multi-Craft Maintenance. Currently, we have 40 apprentices between the two programs. The apprentices learn skills from the partner community college and other people in the field to gain insight into why a job is done a particular way. This was the reason tool and die apprentice Austin Smith decided to apply for the apprenticeship. The nearly five-month apprentice learns from Jouneyman tool makers and assists overhead crane operators in their job responsibilities.

411

Maintenance apprentice Alan Thornton heard about the apprenticeship program as an employee through an internal job posting. He considered the apprenticeship to be a good career opportunity. Thornton enjoys working with robots and doing electrical work, which are part of the program.

It is good business for Kamtek to work with colleges to provide a portion of their training. We are able to work more closely with colleges and their technical programs to keep them informed of our needs and changes that are occurring in our industry.

Kamtek representatives present the benefits of the apprenticeship program at colleges to engage students willing to jump-start their careers. Multi-craft apprentice Brett Bynum, who assists operators in fixing breakdowns on production lines, was attracted to the opportunity for full-time employment after he completed his apprenticeship.

While Wallace State Community College serves as the main medium for Kamtek to seek apprentices, many others hear about us via word of mouth. This was the case for tool and die apprentice Daniel Gamble. Since hearing about Kamtek from his friend more than three months ago, Gamble has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the program. Multi-craft apprentice Austin Myrick, who works in assembly maintenance, chose Kamtek because of the good things that he heard about the program from his colleagues, while he was attending
community college.

Multi-craft apprentice Billy Johnson came to Kamtek with experience as an operator. In addition to completing his degree online from Wallace State Community College, he troubleshoots problems throughout the day using robotics. Like Myrick, he heard about the apprenticeship from his colleagues at school, who were also apprentices at Kamtek.

The apprenticeship program at Kamtek attracts young people from all walks of life who are eager to use the apprenticeship as a means to provide for their families. Press maintenance apprentice and Wallace State Community College student Thomas Domingue is just one example.

After seeing a job listing about the apprenticeship, he decided that applying would be a smart career move. His decision proved to be right as he enjoys the mechanical and electrical nature of the job where his responsibilities include monitoring die changes, responding to maintenance calls and assisting technicians throughout the department.

Many of our workers have seen this program as a life path for themselves and their families. This helps us to achieve our goal of employee satisfaction at Kamtek. To learn more about the apprenticeship program visit www.apprenticeshipalabama.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com for information about this and other training programs.

Employer Sees Results from Apprenticeship Alabama Program

(AlabamaWorks!)

By Joe Hendrix, Kamtek training area leader

As the Kamtek Training Area Leader, I see firsthand how beneficial the Apprenticeship Alabama program is both to our company and to the employees who use the skills they learn throughout their careers. Our manufacturing company utilizes the Apprenticeship Alabama program via the AlabamaWorks initiative.

We have two registered apprenticeship programs: Tool and Die and Multi-Craft Maintenance. Currently, we have 40 apprentices between the two programs. The apprentices learn skills from the partner community college and other people in the field to gain insight into why a job is done a particular way. This was the reason tool and die apprentice Austin Smith decided to apply for the apprenticeship. The nearly five-month apprentice learns from Jouneyman tool makers and assists overhead crane operators in their job responsibilities.

411

Maintenance apprentice Alan Thornton heard about the apprenticeship program as an employee through an internal job posting. He considered the apprenticeship to be a good career opportunity. Thornton enjoys working with robots and doing electrical work, which are part of the program.

It is good business for Kamtek to work with colleges to provide a portion of their training. We are able to work more closely with colleges and their technical programs to keep them informed of our needs and changes that are occurring in our industry.

Kamtek representatives present the benefits of the apprenticeship program at colleges to engage students willing to jump-start their careers. Multi-craft apprentice Brett Bynum, who assists operators in fixing breakdowns on production lines, was attracted to the opportunity for full-time employment after he completed his apprenticeship.

While Wallace State Community College serves as the main medium for Kamtek to seek apprentices, many others hear about us via word of mouth. This was the case for tool and die apprentice Daniel Gamble. Since hearing about Kamtek from his friend more than three months ago, Gamble has taken advantage of the opportunities provided by the program. Multi-craft apprentice Austin Myrick, who works in assembly maintenance, chose Kamtek because of the good things that he heard about the program from his colleagues, while he was attending
community college.

Multi-craft apprentice Billy Johnson came to Kamtek with experience as an operator. In addition to completing his degree online from Wallace State Community College, he troubleshoots problems throughout the day using robotics. Like Myrick, he heard about the apprenticeship from his colleagues at school, who were also apprentices at Kamtek.

The apprenticeship program at Kamtek attracts young people from all walks of life who are eager to use the apprenticeship as a means to provide for their families. Press maintenance apprentice and Wallace State Community College student Thomas Domingue is just one example.

After seeing a job listing about the apprenticeship, he decided that applying would be a smart career move. His decision proved to be right as he enjoys the mechanical and electrical nature of the job where his responsibilities include monitoring die changes, responding to maintenance calls and assisting technicians throughout the department.

Many of our workers have seen this program as a life path for themselves and their families. This helps us to achieve our goal of employee satisfaction at Kamtek. To learn more about the apprenticeship program visit www.apprenticeshipalabama.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com for information about this and other training programs.

Work-based learning meets the needs of manufacturers and students

(AL Works/FB)

By: Josh Laney

As the manufacturing economy of Alabama continues to grow, so do the opportunities for on-the-job-training of high school students. Work-based learning opportunities will be essential in filling the workforce demand in manufacturing fields.

According to Alabama Secretary of Labor Fitzgerald Washington, Alabama added more than 32,000 jobs in 2017. Coupled with a continuing wave of retiring baby boomers and a low unemployment rate, it is easy to see how a workforce shortage could develop. It is also apparent that the future has never been brighter for Alabama’s yearly 50,000-plus high school graduates.

High job demand in lucrative fields provides the opportunity to establish careers in Alabama. Shining brightly among careers, advanced manufacturing offers students the opportunity to stand out through innovation, which 32 percent of Alabama high-schoolers identified as their primary work value. However, even with excellent earning potential, high employer demand and direct alignment with students’ work values, not enough students are entering the manufacturing field.

So, what are the barriers and what can be done about them?

564

There are three main barriers, and they can be eliminated through work-based learning. Those barriers are career interest, availability of training opportunities and lack of knowledge on the part of employers.

Career interest assessments of Alabama high school students consistently reveal only 1 percent identifying manufacturing as a career field of choice. The Alabama State Department of Education is working in conjunction with Manufacture Alabama and the Regional Workforce Councils to provide educators and school leaders with information about manufacturing careers.

Changing misperceptions about careers in advanced manufacturing is the first step in communicating information. However, if we have learned anything from social media culture and the age of online reviews, it is that young people believe their peers. This is where the work-based learning model can help.

A company that hires a few students in an apprenticeship or cooperative education role can increase its recruiting power. When those students interact with their peers, other students learn about those career pathways. Three or four student workers returning to their schools and wearing employer-branded team wear, telling their peers about how cool the job is and talking about how much money they make are the kind of authentic public relations that no company can buy.

A second barrier to meeting workforce demands of the manufacturing industry is the difficulty in providing training opportunities. The tools and equipment needed to teach the myriad technical processes in manufacturing can be expensive.

With a work-based learning model, these barriers are eliminated. A company with a need for trained employees is the best place for that student to learn. The veteran employees have the corporate culture, technical knowledge and real-world experience to train new hires. Employers also report increased engagement levels from veteran employees who work as mentors, with some delaying retirement until they have trained their successors. Apprenticeships and cooperative education placements are the best solutions to putting students, equipment and tools under the supervision of the workers they will be replacing.
The final barrier to using work-based learning opportunities to fill demand is corporate culture and policies based on outdated or erroneous information. For example, it IS legal to hire 16-year-olds as apprentices, according to US child labor laws. However, some manufacturers have corporate and insurance policies that won’t allow them to do so. This puts them behind the curve in cultivating talent.

While it is true that some specific activities are prohibited, many of the prohibitions are explicitly waived for students participating in apprenticeships. The USDOL and the U.S. Department of Education issued a joint training and employment notice in January 2017. In that notice, they say that not only are high school apprenticeships allowed, they are encouraged. The Alabama State Department of Education and the Alabama Department of Labor have both repeatedly echoed these sentiments and are actively promoting youth apprenticeships and work-based learning activities.
If an employer is interested in finding out where youths can fit into their facility, the two departments stand ready to help. When it comes to insurance, a company employing a youth apprentice must cover that apprentice in the same way they would any other part-time employee in that job.

Apprenticeships and work-based learning are not new. They have been time tested for centuries. If Alabama wants to provide the workforce to keep our economy thriving, then we must use ALL tools at our disposal.

By Josh Laney is the Senior Director for Workforce Development, Alabama State Department of Education

‘Soft skills’ like time management, motivation and communication skills are a necessity for success


 
 
In today’s world of texting and instant messaging, soft skills are still important. High school students will need to have a firm grasp of these concepts to ensure their future career success in the highly competitive job market.

The young people will be America’s future workforce. By the year 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of employees the U.S. economy needs will grow to 161 million – a 10.8 percent increase since 2012.

Employers need motivated and highly skilled employees to lead their organizations. Successful employers today often focus on maximizing profit margins and meeting the bottom line. They develop strong workplace cultures and recruit the best talent available.

Many top business experts believe the most important skills that employees must have today include time management, motivation and communication skills. These skills are essential to effectively planning and organizing projects with supervisors and co-workers.

Equipping high school students with essential skills (what soft skills are often called today) is a top priority for Alabama’s Career and Technical Education programs and student organizations – the National Future Farmers of America Organization; JROTC; SkillsUSA; Health Occupations Students Of America-Future Health Professionals; DECA; Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda; Jobs for Alabama’s Graduates; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and the Technology Student Association.

Alabama’s CTE program offers middle and high school students the chance to participate in more than 300 career-related courses and programs statewide. Students can earn college credit (while still in high school) through dual-enrollment classes. They can also earn nationally recognized credentials, such as Adobe Certified Associate, Microsoft Office Specialist, and Certified Nursing Assistant. Hundreds of other credentialing opportunities are available for students.

Essential skills are emphasized in our state’s CTE programs and classrooms. Students often work in “project teams” to complete class assignments. Some teachers and classes even require students to officially “clock in” to simulate a real-world work experience.

Students also engage in hands-on learning. They apply the core math and science concepts they have learned in the traditional classroom to real-world scenarios and class projects. They begin to build good problem-solving skills and techniques.

Some classes even have designated team leaders and managers to simulate an actual work environment. Students learn responsibility and practice good communication with peers.

The average graduation rate nationally for high school students concentrating in CTE programs is 93 percent, while the national graduation rate for students not participating is 86 percent.

AlabamaWorks, a new and highly respected state initiative that unites the many components of workforce development, is also providing students, parents and even experienced professionals with helpful tips and information on workplace requirements, expectations and credentials. This initiative has excellent resources for students, prospective employees and employers.

AlabamaWorks also focuses on dual-enrollment opportunities for students and promotes essential skills development. AlabamaWorks is bridging divides between employer and employee expectations.

Soft skills are still relevant, important and needed today. This term has been re-branded, but it continues to serve the same great purpose – preparing our young people for a lifetime of success!

To learn more about AlabamaWorks’ partner programs, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

(Collie Wells is the interim deputy state superintendent of education, career and technical education at the Alabama Department of Education.)

1

Made in Alabama: Why a Skilled Workforce is Key to Our Success

Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce

Greg Canfield, Alabama Secretary of Commerce

 
 
By: Secretary Greg Canfield
Alabama Department of Commerce

For the past six years, I have had the honor and privilege of serving as the secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. Economic development continues to be one of my passions. I love Alabama and believe in all of the things she has to offer. Our dedicated team of professionals and our allies share this belief.

Through hard work and dedication, we had a banner year in 2017. Led by Gov. Kay Ivey, our team recruited world-class companies from around the world to locate in Alabama and become part of the growing Made in Alabama movement. Preliminary figures indicate these companies collectively are investing more than $3.3 billion, while creating more than 7,000 jobs.

While this is excellent news, it’s also encouraging that 2018 is off to strong start. Toyota-Mazda selected Huntsville for a $1.6 billion auto plant with 4,000 jobs. Kimber, a leading firearms maker, announced plans for a manufacturing facility in Troy with 366 jobs.

Alabama’s business-friendly climate has garnered national accolades from Site Selection magazine, which receives feedback from corporate real estate executives and site-selection consultants. This has helped propel Alabama into the national and international spotlight as a place that welcomes new businesses and continues to offer programs even after those
businesses are established.

Our reputation as a state where companies want to build and expand their facilities didn’t happen overnight. For years, AIDT, which is part of the Department of Commerce, has been a wonderful asset in helping companies hire and educate their workforce.

While AIDT has been a great tool in attracting businesses, we needed a comprehensive system we could present to perspective investors showing that Alabama truly means business via an educated talent pool. This is why AlabamaWorks has become a true asset in the recruitment process.

When a company is selecting a site, it looks at several qualities. These can include infrastructure, access to roads, railway and waterways, site readiness and proximity to needed resources. While these metrics vary according to the company’s needs, one remains a constant: a readily available workforce. This is where AlabamaWorks gives us a competitive advantage.

Officially launched in late 2016, AlabamaWorks is an umbrella organization comprised of business and industry, the Department of Commerce (including AIDT), the Alabama Technology Network, the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Labor (including the Alabama Career Center System) and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

As its focus, AlabamaWorks unites prospective employees, training opportunities and unfilled jobs or new jobs in one place. The streamlining of these has allowed us to further showcase Alabama as the premier location which provides prime sites that meet business’ criteria while offering a mechanism to locate prospective employees and training services.

AlabamaWorks provides us with a key competitive advantage in recruiting. This will increase in value with the addition of Gov. Ivey’s attainment program to have 65 percent of high school graduates acquire a post-high school certification by 2025. By adding this, companies and industries will further realize that Alabama is strategically planning to meet their workforce needs now and in the future.

I am proud that my department is part of the AlabamaWorks initiative because I see the positive effect it is having on our people, our economy and our national positioning as a business-friendly state. To learn more, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

1