The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

Work-based learning benefits potential employees and employers

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed)

Our unemployment rate is at a record low. Each month, we see reports that more and more people are gaining entry into the labor force. This is great for all Alabamians and our economy.

While this benefits our state as a whole, it can be challenging for businesses to find qualified employees. Many managers and business owners are searching for new ways to attract and retain those they need to keep their companies running at optimum staffing levels. At the same time, some potential employees are having a difficult time finding work because they need to upgrade their skill set.

One option available is the Work Based Learning (WBL) initiative offered via the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. This is a federally-funded program designed to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed, while unifying and enhancing the state’s employment, education and training programs. It is led by a regional board and is a partner entity of the Alabama Workforce Council.

345

Via WBL, young adults meeting certain requirements can receive valuable experience with companies that register to be a WBL job site. The goal is to promote the development of an individual’s good work habits and basic work skills by participating in a structured, paid, work-based learning activity.

Some of the WBL objectives include laying the foundation for sound at-work habits through meaningful assignments and improving the participant’s occupational and other basic skills through worksite experience. The WBL participant is under close supervision for the duration of the program.

After completion of the WBL program, participants can expect to have a better understanding of future employment or training options. Each person’s WBL activities are carefully reviewed to ensure that the expected goals and objectives are met.

Employers who choose to be a host site for a WBL program will reap the benefits of creating their own workforce pipeline without incurring the expenses of the participant’s wages. An employer gets to try out participants for employment for up to 390 hours free of charge. At the end of the 390 hours, if the employer wants to offer permanent employment to the participant, then the employer has the option to enroll the participant in On-the-Job Training for up to an additional 600 hours.

The On-the-Job Training program gives the participant an opportunity to learn additional job skills and specific duties required by that employer. Under OJT, employers are reimbursed for up to 50% of the participant’s hourly wages for the duration of the training period.

Work Based Learning provides a win-win-win for everyone involved. Participants gain valuable experience in employment, while employers get to know potential employees. Alabama benefits by gaining experienced workers.  WBL is also a component in achieving Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus goal of adding 500,000 credentialed/degreed individuals to the state’s workforce by 2025.

WBL and OJT are just two of the many training opportunities available for people of all ages and backgrounds that also offer a benefit component for businesses. To learn more, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Phee Friend is board coordinator of the Governor’s Local Workforce Areas Workforce Development Division.

 

 

Work-based learning benefits potential employees and employers

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed)

Our unemployment rate is at a record low. Each month, we see reports that more and more people are gaining entry into the labor force. This is great for all Alabamians and our economy.

While this benefits our state as a whole, it can be challenging for businesses to find qualified employees. Many managers and business owners are searching for new ways to attract and retain those they need to keep their companies running at optimum staffing levels. At the same time, some potential employees are having a difficult time finding work because they need to upgrade their skill set.

One option available is the Work Based Learning (WBL) initiative offered via the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. This is a federally-funded program designed to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed while unifying and enhancing the state’s employment, education and training programs. It is led by a regional board and is a partner entity of the Alabama Workforce Council.

345

Via WBL, young adults meeting certain requirements can receive valuable experience with companies that register to be a WBL job site. The goal is to promote the development of an individual’s good work habits and basic work skills by participating in a structured, paid, work-based learning activity.

Some of the WBL objectives include laying the foundation for sound at-work habits through meaningful assignments and improving the participant’s occupational and other basic skills through worksite experience. The WBL participant is under close supervision for the duration of the program.

After completion of the WBL program, participants can expect to have a better understanding of future employment or training options. Each person’s WBL activities are carefully reviewed to ensure that the expected goals and objectives are met.

Employers who choose to be a host site for a WBL program will reap the benefits of creating their own workforce pipeline without incurring the expenses of the participant’s wages. An employer gets to try out participants for employment for up to 390 hours free of charge. At the end of the 390 hours, if the employer wants to offer permanent employment to the participant, then the employer has the option to enroll the participant in On-the-Job Training for up to an additional 600 hours.

The On-the-Job Training program gives the participant an opportunity to learn additional job skills and specific duties required by that employer. Under OJT, employers are reimbursed for up to 50% of the participant’s hourly wages for the duration of the training period.

Work Based Learning provides a win-win-win for everyone involved. Participants gain valuable experience in employment, while employers get to know potential employees. Alabama benefits by gaining experienced workers.  WBL is also a component in achieving Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus goal of adding 500,000 credentialed/degreed individuals to the state’s workforce by 2025.

WBL and OJT are just two of the many training opportunities available for people of all ages and backgrounds that also offer a benefit component for businesses. To learn more, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Phee Friend is board coordinator of the Governor’s Local Workforce Areas Workforce Development Division.

Work-based learning benefits potential employees and employers

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed)

Our unemployment rate is at a record low. Each month, we see reports that more and more people are gaining entry into the labor force. This is great for all Alabamians and our economy.

While this benefits our state as a whole, it can be challenging for businesses to find qualified employees. Many managers and business owners are searching for new ways to attract and retain those they need to keep their companies running at optimum staffing levels. At the same time, some potential employees are having a difficult time finding work because they need to upgrade their skill set.

One option available is the Work Based Learning (WBL) initiative offered via the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. This is a federally-funded program designed to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed while unifying and enhancing the state’s employment, education and training programs. It is led by a regional board and is a partner entity of the Alabama Workforce Council.

345

Via WBL, young adults meeting certain requirements can receive valuable experience with companies that register to be a WBL job site. The goal is to promote the development of an individual’s good work habits and basic work skills by participating in a structured, paid, work-based learning activity.

Some of the WBL objectives include laying the foundation for sound at-work habits through meaningful assignments and improving the participant’s occupational and other basic skills through worksite experience. The WBL participant is under close supervision for the duration of the program.

After completion of the WBL program, participants can expect to have a better understanding of future employment or training options. Each person’s WBL activities are carefully reviewed to ensure that the expected goals and objectives are met.

Employers who choose to be a host site for a WBL program will reap the benefits of creating their own workforce pipeline without incurring the expenses of the participant’s wages. An employer gets to try out participants for employment for up to 390 hours free of charge. At the end of the 390 hours, if the employer wants to offer permanent employment to the participant, then the employer has the option to enroll the participant in On-the-Job Training for up to an additional 600 hours.

The On-the-Job Training program gives the participant an opportunity to learn additional job skills and specific duties required by that employer. Under OJT, employers are reimbursed for up to 50% of the participant’s hourly wages for the duration of the training period.

Work Based Learning provides a win-win-win for everyone involved. Participants gain valuable experience in employment, while employers get to know potential employees. Alabama benefits by gaining experienced workers.  WBL is also a component in achieving Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus goal of adding 500,000 credentialed/degreed individuals to the state’s workforce by 2025.

WBL and OJT are just two of the many training opportunities available for people of all ages and backgrounds that also offer a benefit component for businesses. To learn more, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Phee Friend is board coordinator of the Governor’s Local Workforce Areas Workforce Development Division.

 

 

Work-based learning benefits potential employees and employers

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed)

Our unemployment rate is at a record low. Each month, we see reports that more and more people are gaining entry into the labor force. This is great for all Alabamians and our economy.

While this benefits our state as a whole, it can be challenging for businesses to find qualified employees. Many managers and business owners are searching for new ways to attract and retain those they need to keep their companies running at optimum staffing levels. At the same time, some potential employees are having a difficult time finding work because they need to upgrade their skill set.

One option available is the Work Based Learning (WBL) initiative offered via the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. This is a federally-funded program designed to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed, while unifying and enhancing the state’s employment, education and training programs. It is led by a regional board and is a partner entity of the Alabama Workforce Council.

345

Via WBL, young adults meeting certain requirements can receive valuable experience with companies that register to be a WBL job site. The goal is to promote the development of an individual’s good work habits and basic work skills by participating in a structured, paid, work-based learning activity.

Some of the WBL objectives include laying the foundation for sound at-work habits through meaningful assignments and improving the participant’s occupational and other basic skills through worksite experience. The WBL participant is under close supervision for the duration of the program.

After completion of the WBL program, participants can expect to have a better understanding of future employment or training options. Each person’s WBL activities are carefully reviewed to ensure that the expected goals and objectives are met.

Employers who choose to be a host site for a WBL program will reap the benefits of creating their own workforce pipeline without incurring the expenses of the participant’s wages. An employer gets to try out participants for employment for up to 390 hours free of charge. At the end of the 390 hours, if the employer wants to offer permanent employment to the participant, then the employer has the option to enroll the participant in On-the-Job Training for up to an additional 600 hours.

The On-the-Job Training program gives the participant an opportunity to learn additional job skills and specific duties required by that employer. Under OJT, employers are reimbursed for up to 50% of the participant’s hourly wages for the duration of the training period.

Work Based Learning provides a win-win-win for everyone involved. Participants gain valuable experience in employment, while employers get to know potential employees. Alabama benefits by gaining experienced workers.  WBL is also a component in achieving Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus goal of adding 500,000 credentialed/degreed individuals to the state’s workforce by 2025.

WBL and OJT are just two of the many training opportunities available for people of all ages and backgrounds that also offer a benefit component for businesses. To learn more, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Phee Friend is board coordinator of the Governor’s Local Workforce Areas Workforce Development Division.

 

 

Work-based learning benefits potential employees and employers

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed)

Our unemployment rate is at a record low. Each month, we see reports that more and more people are gaining entry into the labor force. This is great for all Alabamians and our economy.

While this benefits our state as a whole, it can be challenging for businesses to find qualified employees. Many managers and business owners are searching for new ways to attract and retain those they need to keep their companies running at optimum staffing levels. At the same time, some potential employees are having a difficult time finding work because they need to upgrade their skill set.

One option available is the Work Based Learning (WBL) initiative offered via the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. This is a federally-funded program designed to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed, while unifying and enhancing the state’s employment, education and training programs. It is led by a regional board and is a partner entity of the Alabama Workforce Council.

345

Via WBL, young adults meeting certain requirements can receive valuable experience with companies that register to be a WBL job site. The goal is to promote the development of an individual’s good work habits and basic work skills by participating in a structured, paid, work-based learning activity.

Some of the WBL objectives include laying the foundation for sound at-work habits through meaningful assignments and improving the participant’s occupational and other basic skills through worksite experience. The WBL participant is under close supervision for the duration of the program.

After completion of the WBL program, participants can expect to have a better understanding of future employment or training options. Each person’s WBL activities are carefully reviewed to ensure that the expected goals and objectives are met.

Employers who choose to be a host site for a WBL program will reap the benefits of creating their own workforce pipeline without incurring the expenses of the participant’s wages. An employer gets to try out participants for employment for up to 390 hours free of charge. At the end of the 390 hours, if the employer wants to offer permanent employment to the participant, then the employer has the option to enroll the participant in On-the-Job Training for up to an additional 600 hours.

The On-the-Job Training program gives the participant an opportunity to learn additional job skills and specific duties required by that employer. Under OJT, employers are reimbursed for up to 50% of the participant’s hourly wages for the duration of the training period.

Work Based Learning provides a win-win-win for everyone involved. Participants gain valuable experience in employment, while employers get to know potential employees. Alabama benefits by gaining experienced workers.  WBL is also a component in achieving Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus goal of adding 500,000 credentialed/degreed individuals to the state’s workforce by 2025.

WBL and OJT are just two of the many training opportunities available for people of all ages and backgrounds that also offer a benefit component for businesses. To learn more, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Phee Friend is board coordinator of the Governor’s Local Workforce Areas Workforce Development Division.

 

 

Vocational rehabilitation services strives to narrow employment gap for Alabamians with disabilities

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

By Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, commissioner
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

“What do you do for a living?”

We’ve all asked or been asked that question.

It’s a great conversation starter that helps us learn more about a person. It also underscores our society’s emphasis on the value of having an occupation.

469

The question is no less important to a person with a disability.

For people with disabilities, employment is about much more than having a job. It is the great equalizer. Working empowers people with disabilities by giving them the means to live independently and to contribute to and participate in their communities.

And yet, employment for people with disabilities lags far behind employment for people who do not have disabilities. In Alabama, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities is a meager 27.5% representing a 45.5 percentage point gap when compared to individuals without disabilities (source: Respect Ability).

Working in tandem with our community partners, other state agencies, and the Alabama Workforce Council, Alabama’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service is striving to narrow that gap through specialized employment- and education-related services that assist people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. VRS’ customized services and expertise make employment a reality even for individuals with significant disabilities.

In fiscal year 2018, VRS assisted almost 3,500 Alabamians with disabilities in finding employment, including 482 with the most-significant disabilities.

Of course, that accomplishment would not be possible without willing employers.

Oftentimes, business owners are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of misconceptions related to job performance, reliability, and cost as well as a lack of familiarity with the resources that are available to ensure a worker’s success on the job.

In reality, though, hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. The proof is in the results, and it has been my experience that one successful placement with an employer “kicks open” the door to future job opportunities for other workers with disabilities. It’s a win-win scenario: The employer gains a loyal worker and benefits from a more-diverse and inclusive workplace, while the employee gains and benefits from the satisfaction that comes from having a job.

Through the VRS Business Relations Program, employers have access to disability experts who provide no-cost services such as job analysis; recruiting; pre-hire screening; job-site training; post-hire follow-up; disability management; and employer training on such topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the medical aspects of disability, the reasonable accommodations process, and disability awareness and etiquette. VRS business relations consultants also offer employers information on financial incentives, pre-hire work experiences, and on-the-job training reimbursements.

VRS is proud to be contributing to Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus program through the various services and supports we provide to job-seekers, workers and employers. Specifically, we see VRS as critical to improving work opportunities for a population that faces significant barriers to employment.

As we strive to achieve the goals of the Success Plus initiative, we are working diligently to assure that people with disabilities are included and prepared to join other Alabamians in experiencing the gratification and fulfillment of gainful employment.

For more information about VRS and its services and programs, call 1-800-441-7607. To learn more about AlabamaWorks, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Vocational rehabilitation services strives to narrow employment gap for Alabamians with disabilities

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

By Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, commissioner
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

“What do you do for a living?”

We’ve all asked or been asked that question.

It’s a great conversation starter that helps us learn more about a person. It also underscores our society’s emphasis on the value of having an occupation.

469

The question is no less important to a person with a disability.

For people with disabilities, employment is about much more than having a job. It is the great equalizer. Working empowers people with disabilities by giving them the means to live independently and to contribute to and participate in their communities.

And yet, employment for people with disabilities lags far behind employment for people who do not have disabilities. In Alabama, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities is a meager 27.5% representing a 45.5 percentage point gap when compared to individuals without disabilities (source: Respect Ability).

Working in tandem with our community partners, other state agencies, and the Alabama Workforce Council, Alabama’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service is striving to narrow that gap through specialized employment- and education-related services that assist people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. VRS’ customized services and expertise make employment a reality even for individuals with significant disabilities.

In fiscal year 2018, VRS assisted almost 3,500 Alabamians with disabilities in finding employment, including 482 with the most-significant disabilities.

Of course, that accomplishment would not be possible without willing employers.

Oftentimes, business owners are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of misconceptions related to job performance, reliability, and cost as well as a lack of familiarity with the resources that are available to ensure a worker’s success on the job.

In reality, though, hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. The proof is in the results, and it has been my experience that one successful placement with an employer “kicks open” the door to future job opportunities for other workers with disabilities. It’s a win-win scenario: The employer gains a loyal worker and benefits from a more-diverse and inclusive workplace, while the employee gains and benefits from the satisfaction that comes from having a job.

Through the VRS Business Relations Program, employers have access to disability experts who provide no-cost services such as job analysis; recruiting; pre-hire screening; job-site training; post-hire follow-up; disability management; and employer training on such topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the medical aspects of disability, the reasonable accommodations process, and disability awareness and etiquette. VRS business relations consultants also offer employers information on financial incentives, pre-hire work experiences, and on-the-job training reimbursements.

VRS is proud to be contributing to Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus program through the various services and supports we provide to job-seekers, workers and employers. Specifically, we see VRS as critical to improving work opportunities for a population that faces significant barriers to employment.

As we strive to achieve the goals of the Success Plus initiative, we are working diligently to assure that people with disabilities are included and prepared to join other Alabamians in experiencing the gratification and fulfillment of gainful employment.

For more information about VRS and its services and programs, call 1-800-441-7607. To learn more about AlabamaWorks, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Vocational rehabilitation services strives to narrow employment gap for Alabamians with disabilities

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

By Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, commissioner
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

“What do you do for a living?”

We’ve all asked or been asked that question.

It’s a great conversation starter that helps us learn more about a person. It also underscores our society’s emphasis on the value of having an occupation.

469

The question is no less important to a person with a disability.

For people with disabilities, employment is about much more than having a job. It is the great equalizer. Working empowers people with disabilities by giving them the means to live independently and to contribute to and participate in their communities.

And yet, employment for people with disabilities lags far behind employment for people who do not have disabilities. In Alabama, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities is a meager 27.5% representing a 45.5 percentage point gap when compared to individuals without disabilities (source: Respect Ability).

Working in tandem with our community partners, other state agencies, and the Alabama Workforce Council, Alabama’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service is striving to narrow that gap through specialized employment- and education-related services that assist people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. VRS’ customized services and expertise make employment a reality even for individuals with significant disabilities.

In fiscal year 2018, VRS assisted almost 3,500 Alabamians with disabilities in finding employment, including 482 with the most-significant disabilities.

Of course, that accomplishment would not be possible without willing employers.

Oftentimes, business owners are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of misconceptions related to job performance, reliability, and cost as well as a lack of familiarity with the resources that are available to ensure a worker’s success on the job.

In reality, though, hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. The proof is in the results, and it has been my experience that one successful placement with an employer “kicks open” the door to future job opportunities for other workers with disabilities. It’s a win-win scenario: The employer gains a loyal worker and benefits from a more-diverse and inclusive workplace, while the employee gains and benefits from the satisfaction that comes from having a job.

Through the VRS Business Relations Program, employers have access to disability experts who provide no-cost services such as job analysis; recruiting; pre-hire screening; job-site training; post-hire follow-up; disability management; and employer training on such topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the medical aspects of disability, the reasonable accommodations process, and disability awareness and etiquette. VRS business relations consultants also offer employers information on financial incentives, pre-hire work experiences, and on-the-job training reimbursements.

VRS is proud to be contributing to Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus program through the various services and supports we provide to job-seekers, workers and employers. Specifically, we see VRS as critical to improving work opportunities for a population that faces significant barriers to employment.

As we strive to achieve the goals of the Success Plus initiative, we are working diligently to assure that people with disabilities are included and prepared to join other Alabamians in experiencing the gratification and fulfillment of gainful employment.

For more information about VRS and its services and programs, call 1-800-441-7607. To learn more about AlabamaWorks, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Vocational rehabilitation services strives to narrow employment gap for Alabamians with disabilities

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

By Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, commissioner
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

“What do you do for a living?”

We’ve all asked or been asked that question.

It’s a great conversation starter that helps us learn more about a person. It also underscores our society’s emphasis on the value of having an occupation.

469

The question is no less important to a person with a disability.

For people with disabilities, employment is about much more than having a job. It is the great equalizer. Working empowers people with disabilities by giving them the means to live independently and to contribute to and participate in their communities.

And yet, employment for people with disabilities lags far behind employment for people who do not have disabilities. In Alabama, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities is a meager 27.5% representing a 45.5 percentage point gap when compared to individuals without disabilities (source: Respect Ability).

Working in tandem with our community partners, other state agencies, and the Alabama Workforce Council, Alabama’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service is striving to narrow that gap through specialized employment- and education-related services that assist people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. VRS’ customized services and expertise make employment a reality even for individuals with significant disabilities.

In fiscal year 2018, VRS assisted almost 3,500 Alabamians with disabilities in finding employment, including 482 with the most-significant disabilities.

Of course, that accomplishment would not be possible without willing employers.

Oftentimes, business owners are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of misconceptions related to job performance, reliability, and cost as well as a lack of familiarity with the resources that are available to ensure a worker’s success on the job.

In reality, though, hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. The proof is in the results, and it has been my experience that one successful placement with an employer “kicks open” the door to future job opportunities for other workers with disabilities. It’s a win-win scenario: The employer gains a loyal worker and benefits from a more-diverse and inclusive workplace, while the employee gains and benefits from the satisfaction that comes from having a job.

Through the VRS Business Relations Program, employers have access to disability experts who provide no-cost services such as job analysis; recruiting; pre-hire screening; job-site training; post-hire follow-up; disability management; and employer training on such topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the medical aspects of disability, the reasonable accommodations process, and disability awareness and etiquette. VRS business relations consultants also offer employers information on financial incentives, pre-hire work experiences, and on-the-job training reimbursements.

VRS is proud to be contributing to Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus program through the various services and supports we provide to job-seekers, workers and employers. Specifically, we see VRS as critical to improving work opportunities for a population that faces significant barriers to employment.

As we strive to achieve the goals of the Success Plus initiative, we are working diligently to assure that people with disabilities are included and prepared to join other Alabamians in experiencing the gratification and fulfillment of gainful employment.

For more information about VRS and its services and programs, call 1-800-441-7607. To learn more about AlabamaWorks, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Vocational rehabilitation services strives to narrow employment gap for Alabamians with disabilities

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

By Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw, commissioner
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

“What do you do for a living?”

We’ve all asked or been asked that question.

It’s a great conversation starter that helps us learn more about a person. It also underscores our society’s emphasis on the value of having an occupation.

469

The question is no less important to a person with a disability.

For people with disabilities, employment is about much more than having a job. It is the great equalizer. Working empowers people with disabilities by giving them the means to live independently and to contribute to and participate in their communities.

And yet, employment for people with disabilities lags far behind employment for people who do not have disabilities. In Alabama, the employment rate for individuals with disabilities is a meager 27.5% representing a 45.5 percentage point gap when compared to individuals without disabilities (source: Respect Ability).

Working in tandem with our community partners, other state agencies, and the Alabama Workforce Council, Alabama’s Vocational Rehabilitation Service is striving to narrow that gap through specialized employment- and education-related services that assist people with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. VRS’ customized services and expertise make employment a reality even for individuals with significant disabilities.

In fiscal year 2018, VRS assisted almost 3,500 Alabamians with disabilities in finding employment, including 482 with the most-significant disabilities.

Of course, that accomplishment would not be possible without willing employers.

Oftentimes, business owners are reluctant to hire people with disabilities because of misconceptions related to job performance, reliability, and cost as well as a lack of familiarity with the resources that are available to ensure a worker’s success on the job.

In reality, though, hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense. The proof is in the results, and it has been my experience that one successful placement with an employer “kicks open” the door to future job opportunities for other workers with disabilities. It’s a win-win scenario: The employer gains a loyal worker and benefits from a more-diverse and inclusive workplace, while the employee gains and benefits from the satisfaction that comes from having a job.

Through the VRS Business Relations Program, employers have access to disability experts who provide no-cost services such as job analysis; recruiting; pre-hire screening; job-site training; post-hire follow-up; disability management; and employer training on such topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the medical aspects of disability, the reasonable accommodations process, and disability awareness and etiquette. VRS business relations consultants also offer employers information on financial incentives, pre-hire work experiences, and on-the-job training reimbursements.

VRS is proud to be contributing to Gov. Kay Ivey’s AlabamaWorks Success Plus program through the various services and supports we provide to job-seekers, workers and employers. Specifically, we see VRS as critical to improving work opportunities for a population that faces significant barriers to employment.

As we strive to achieve the goals of the Success Plus initiative, we are working diligently to assure that people with disabilities are included and prepared to join other Alabamians in experiencing the gratification and fulfillment of gainful employment.

For more information about VRS and its services and programs, call 1-800-441-7607. To learn more about AlabamaWorks, visit www.alabamaworks.com.

Making correctional education work for Alabama

(AlabamaWorks Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Annette Funderburk, president
J.F. Ingram State Technical College

The job market in Alabama is growing, and the unemployment rate has reached low levels not seen in many years. Businesses across the state are working harder than ever to find and hire qualified workers. According to Governor Ivey’s Success Plus initiative, our state will need an extra 500,000 credentialed, highly-skilled or degreed individuals by 2025.

591

This provides an excellent opportunity for placement of previously incarcerated individuals who are graduating from J.F. Ingram State Technical College with technical skills and proficiency in ready-to-work disciplines.

At Ingram, we want to send the message that opportunities to reduce recidivism in our state’s prison system have been enhanced by economic conditions statewide and by our continued efforts to provide excellent training and work readiness skills to the incarcerated. Recently, Ingram hired a job placement coordinator. We are having increased success placing Ingram graduates in high wage, high demand positions throughout Alabama. These jobs provide income, dignity and hope for those in our communities in need of a chance to succeed and become productive citizens.

To facilitate reentry into society, the Ingram State Foundation often provides needed tools and safety equipment to employed graduates as they begin their new jobs.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, 94 % of individuals incarcerated, will be released into the community. Established by the Alabama legislature in 1965, Ingram State Technical College is the only community college in the country serving incarcerated students exclusively.

A fully-accredited member of the Alabama Community College System, which is part of the Alabama Workforce Council, Ingram State partners with the Alabama Department of Corrections and provides career technical training in 17 programs ranging from diesel mechanics to industrial maintenance, logistics to welding, cosmetology and barbering at correctional facilities across central Alabama, including Tutwiler Prison for Women.

These are credit-bearing programs with stackable credentials of short and long-term certifications. College enrollment is available to inmates that are within 10 years of their end-of-sentence or parole date. Our goal is to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce equipped to meet the needs of employers, provide a pathway of employment for the formerly incarcerated and reduce the number of inmates that return to Alabama’s prisons.

Since many of our students did not graduate from high school, students can also enroll in adult education and pursue their high school diploma or GED. A new endeavor in adult education is the Career Pathways program which encourages students earn their GED while they are dually enrolling in a career tech program.

Because ISTC graduates face significant barriers to employment, ISTC has placed particular emphasis on the acquisition of industry-recognized certifications and credentials. Programs are taught utilizing the nationally recognized curriculums from the National Center for Construction Education and Research and Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, and qualified students complete an OSHA 10-hour safety class.

Through an agreement with the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, ISTC plumbing students can earn their journeyman certification as part of their program of study. Students enrolled in the HVAC program receive EPA certifications, while barbering and cosmetology students complete the hours of education needed to sit for state licensure examinations.

In addition to helping close the employment gap, educating Alabama’s incarcerated population has other benefits. A 2018 study by the RAND Corporation shows that individuals who participate in quality education programs are 28 percent less likely to return to prison than those who serve their sentence and are released. Earlier RAND research showed that for every $1 investment in prison education programs there is a $4 to $5 reduction in incarceration costs during the first three years post-release of a prisoner.

Although our buildings, instructional equipment, and techniques would be familiar on any community college campus, our student body is unique — a mission of developing responsible citizens which reduces recidivism and provides employable workers to businesses. Student success at ISTC is a victory not only for each student and their families – but for all Alabamians.

Making correctional education work for Alabama

(AlabamaWorks Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Annette Funderburk, president
J.F. Ingram State Technical College

The job market in Alabama is growing, and the unemployment rate has reached low levels not seen in many years. Businesses across the state are working harder than ever to find and hire qualified workers. According to Governor Ivey’s Success Plus initiative, our state will need an extra 500,000 credentialed, highly-skilled or degreed individuals by 2025.

590

This provides an excellent opportunity for placement of previously incarcerated individuals who are graduating from J.F. Ingram State Technical College with technical skills and proficiency in ready-to-work disciplines.

At Ingram, we want to send the message that opportunities to reduce recidivism in our state’s prison system have been enhanced by economic conditions statewide and by our continued efforts to provide excellent training and work readiness skills to the incarcerated. Recently, Ingram hired a job placement coordinator. We are having increased success placing Ingram graduates in high wage, high demand positions throughout Alabama. These jobs provide income, dignity and hope for those in our communities in need of a chance to succeed and become productive citizens.

To facilitate reentry into society, the Ingram State Foundation often provides needed tools and safety equipment to employed graduates as they begin their new jobs.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, 94% of individuals incarcerated, will be released into the community. Established by the Alabama legislature in 1965, Ingram State Technical College is the only community college in the country serving incarcerated students exclusively.

A fully-accredited member of the Alabama Community College System, which is part of the Alabama Workforce Council, Ingram State partners with the Alabama Department of Corrections and provides career technical training in 17 programs ranging from diesel mechanics to industrial maintenance, logistics to welding, cosmetology and barbering at correctional facilities across central Alabama, including Tutwiler Prison for Women.

These are credit-bearing programs with stackable credentials of short and long-term certifications. College enrollment is available to inmates that are within 10 years of their end-of-sentence or parole date. Our goal is to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce equipped to meet the needs of employers, provide a pathway of employment for the formerly incarcerated and reduce the number of inmates that return to Alabama’s prisons.

Since many of our students did not graduate from high school, students can also enroll in adult education and pursue their high school diploma or GED. A new endeavor in adult education is the Career Pathways program which encourages students earn their GED while they are dually enrolling in a career tech program.

Because ISTC graduates face significant barriers to employment, ISTC has placed particular emphasis on the acquisition of industry-recognized certifications and credentials. Programs are taught utilizing the nationally recognized curriculums from the National Center for Construction Education and Research and Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, and qualified students complete an OSHA 10-hour safety class.

Through an agreement with the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, ISTC plumbing students can earn their journeyman certification as part of their program of study. Students enrolled in the HVAC program receive EPA certifications, while barbering and cosmetology students complete the hours of education needed to sit for state licensure examinations.

In addition to helping close the employment gap, educating Alabama’s incarcerated population has other benefits. A 2018 study by the RAND Corporation shows that individuals who participate in quality education programs are 28 percent less likely to return to prison than those who serve their sentence and are released. Earlier RAND research showed that for every $1 investment in prison education programs there is a $4 to $5 reduction in incarceration costs during the first three years post-release of a prisoner.

Although our buildings, instructional equipment, and techniques would be familiar on any community college campus, our student body is unique — a mission of developing responsible citizens which reduces recidivism and provides employable workers to businesses. Student success at ISTC is a victory not only for each student and their families – but for all Alabamians.

Making correctional education work for Alabama

(AlabamaWorks Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Annette Funderburk, president
J.F. Ingram State Technical College

The job market in Alabama is growing, and the unemployment rate has reached low levels not seen in many years. Businesses across the state are working harder than ever to find and hire qualified workers. According to Governor Ivey’s Success Plus initiative, our state will need an extra 500,000 credentialed, highly-skilled or degreed individuals by 2025.

590

This provides an excellent opportunity for placement of previously incarcerated individuals who are graduating from J.F. Ingram State Technical College with technical skills and proficiency in ready-to-work disciplines.

At Ingram, we want to send the message that opportunities to reduce recidivism in our state’s prison system have been enhanced by economic conditions statewide and by our continued efforts to provide excellent training and work readiness skills to the incarcerated. Recently, Ingram hired a job placement coordinator. We are having increased success placing Ingram graduates in high wage, high demand positions throughout Alabama. These jobs provide income, dignity and hope for those in our communities in need of a chance to succeed and become productive citizens.

To facilitate reentry into society, the Ingram State Foundation often provides needed tools and safety equipment to employed graduates as they begin their new jobs.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, 94% of individuals incarcerated, will be released into the community. Established by the Alabama legislature in 1965, Ingram State Technical College is the only community college in the country serving incarcerated students exclusively.

A fully-accredited member of the Alabama Community College System, which is part of the Alabama Workforce Council, Ingram State partners with the Alabama Department of Corrections and provides career technical training in 17 programs ranging from diesel mechanics to industrial maintenance, logistics to welding, cosmetology and barbering at correctional facilities across central Alabama, including Tutwiler Prison for Women.

These are credit-bearing programs with stackable credentials of short and long-term certifications. College enrollment is available to inmates that are within 10 years of their end-of-sentence or parole date. Our goal is to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce equipped to meet the needs of employers, provide a pathway of employment for the formerly incarcerated and reduce the number of inmates that return to Alabama’s prisons.

Since many of our students did not graduate from high school, students can also enroll in adult education and pursue their high school diploma or GED. A new endeavor in adult education is the Career Pathways program which encourages students earn their GED while they are dually enrolling in a career tech program.

Because ISTC graduates face significant barriers to employment, ISTC has placed particular emphasis on the acquisition of industry-recognized certifications and credentials. Programs are taught utilizing the nationally recognized curriculums from the National Center for Construction Education and Research and Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, and qualified students complete an OSHA 10-hour safety class.

Through an agreement with the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, ISTC plumbing students can earn their journeyman certification as part of their program of study. Students enrolled in the HVAC program receive EPA certifications, while barbering and cosmetology students complete the hours of education needed to sit for state licensure examinations.

In addition to helping close the employment gap, educating Alabama’s incarcerated population has other benefits. A 2018 study by the RAND Corporation shows that individuals who participate in quality education programs are 28 percent less likely to return to prison than those who serve their sentence and are released. Earlier RAND research showed that for every $1 investment in prison education programs there is a $4 to $5 reduction in incarceration costs during the first three years post-release of a prisoner.

Although our buildings, instructional equipment, and techniques would be familiar on any community college campus, our student body is unique — a mission of developing responsible citizens which reduces recidivism and provides employable workers to businesses. Student success at ISTC is a victory not only for each student and their families – but for all Alabamians.

Making correctional education work for Alabama

(AlabamaWorks Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Annette Funderburk, president
J.F. Ingram State Technical College

The job market in Alabama is growing, and the unemployment rate has reached low levels not seen in many years. Businesses across the state are working harder than ever to find and hire qualified workers. According to Governor Ivey’s Success Plus initiative, our state will need an extra 500,000 credentialed, highly-skilled or degreed individuals by 2025.

590

This provides an excellent opportunity for placement of previously incarcerated individuals who are graduating from J.F. Ingram State Technical College with technical skills and proficiency in ready-to-work disciplines.

At Ingram, we want to send the message that opportunities to reduce recidivism in our state’s prison system have been enhanced by economic conditions statewide and by our continued efforts to provide excellent training and work readiness skills to the incarcerated. Recently, Ingram hired a job placement coordinator. We are having increased success placing Ingram graduates in high wage, high demand positions throughout Alabama. These jobs provide income, dignity and hope for those in our communities in need of a chance to succeed and become productive citizens.

To facilitate reentry into society, the Ingram State Foundation often provides needed tools and safety equipment to employed graduates as they begin their new jobs.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, 94% of individuals incarcerated, will be released into the community. Established by the Alabama legislature in 1965, Ingram State Technical College is the only community college in the country serving incarcerated students exclusively.

A fully-accredited member of the Alabama Community College System, which is part of the Alabama Workforce Council, Ingram State partners with the Alabama Department of Corrections and provides career technical training in 17 programs ranging from diesel mechanics to industrial maintenance, logistics to welding, cosmetology and barbering at correctional facilities across central Alabama, including Tutwiler Prison for Women.

These are credit-bearing programs with stackable credentials of short and long-term certifications. College enrollment is available to inmates that are within 10 years of their end-of-sentence or parole date. Our goal is to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce equipped to meet the needs of employers, provide a pathway of employment for the formerly incarcerated and reduce the number of inmates that return to Alabama’s prisons.

Since many of our students did not graduate from high school, students can also enroll in adult education and pursue their high school diploma or GED. A new endeavor in adult education is the Career Pathways program which encourages students earn their GED while they are dually enrolling in a career tech program.

Because ISTC graduates face significant barriers to employment, ISTC has placed particular emphasis on the acquisition of industry-recognized certifications and credentials. Programs are taught utilizing the nationally recognized curriculums from the National Center for Construction Education and Research and Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, and qualified students complete an OSHA 10-hour safety class.

Through an agreement with the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, ISTC plumbing students can earn their journeyman certification as part of their program of study. Students enrolled in the HVAC program receive EPA certifications, while barbering and cosmetology students complete the hours of education needed to sit for state licensure examinations.

In addition to helping close the employment gap, educating Alabama’s incarcerated population has other benefits. A 2018 study by the RAND Corporation shows that individuals who participate in quality education programs are 28 percent less likely to return to prison than those who serve their sentence and are released. Earlier RAND research showed that for every $1 investment in prison education programs there is a $4 to $5 reduction in incarceration costs during the first three years post-release of a prisoner.

Although our buildings, instructional equipment, and techniques would be familiar on any community college campus, our student body is unique — a mission of developing responsible citizens which reduces recidivism and provides employable workers to businesses. Student success at ISTC is a victory not only for each student and their families – but for all Alabamians.

Making correctional education work for Alabama

(AlabamaWorks Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Annette Funderburk, president
J.F. Ingram State Technical College

The job market in Alabama is growing, and the unemployment rate has reached low levels not seen in many years. Businesses across the state are working harder than ever to find and hire qualified workers. According to Governor Ivey’s Success Plus initiative, our state will need an extra 500,000 credentialed, highly-skilled or degreed individuals by 2025.

591

This provides an excellent opportunity for placement of previously incarcerated individuals who are graduating from J.F. Ingram State Technical College with technical skills and proficiency in ready-to-work disciplines.

At Ingram, we want to send the message that opportunities to reduce recidivism in our state’s prison system have been enhanced by economic conditions statewide and by our continued efforts to provide excellent training and work readiness skills to the incarcerated. Recently, Ingram hired a job placement coordinator. We are having increased success placing Ingram graduates in high wage, high demand positions throughout Alabama. These jobs provide income, dignity and hope for those in our communities in need of a chance to succeed and become productive citizens.

To facilitate reentry into society, the Ingram State Foundation often provides needed tools and safety equipment to employed graduates as they begin their new jobs.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections, 94 % of individuals incarcerated, will be released into the community. Established by the Alabama legislature in 1965, Ingram State Technical College is the only community college in the country serving incarcerated students exclusively.

A fully-accredited member of the Alabama Community College System, which is part of the Alabama Workforce Council, Ingram State partners with the Alabama Department of Corrections and provides career technical training in 17 programs ranging from diesel mechanics to industrial maintenance, logistics to welding, cosmetology and barbering at correctional facilities across central Alabama, including Tutwiler Prison for Women.

These are credit-bearing programs with stackable credentials of short and long-term certifications. College enrollment is available to inmates that are within 10 years of their end-of-sentence or parole date. Our goal is to prepare our graduates to enter the workforce equipped to meet the needs of employers, provide a pathway of employment for the formerly incarcerated and reduce the number of inmates that return to Alabama’s prisons.

Since many of our students did not graduate from high school, students can also enroll in adult education and pursue their high school diploma or GED. A new endeavor in adult education is the Career Pathways program which encourages students earn their GED while they are dually enrolling in a career tech program.

Because ISTC graduates face significant barriers to employment, ISTC has placed particular emphasis on the acquisition of industry-recognized certifications and credentials. Programs are taught utilizing the nationally recognized curriculums from the National Center for Construction Education and Research and Manufacturing Skills Standards Council, and qualified students complete an OSHA 10-hour safety class.

Through an agreement with the Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board, ISTC plumbing students can earn their journeyman certification as part of their program of study. Students enrolled in the HVAC program receive EPA certifications, while barbering and cosmetology students complete the hours of education needed to sit for state licensure examinations.

In addition to helping close the employment gap, educating Alabama’s incarcerated population has other benefits. A 2018 study by the RAND Corporation shows that individuals who participate in quality education programs are 28 percent less likely to return to prison than those who serve their sentence and are released. Earlier RAND research showed that for every $1 investment in prison education programs there is a $4 to $5 reduction in incarceration costs during the first three years post-release of a prisoner.

Although our buildings, instructional equipment, and techniques would be familiar on any community college campus, our student body is unique — a mission of developing responsible citizens which reduces recidivism and provides employable workers to businesses. Student success at ISTC is a victory not only for each student and their families – but for all Alabamians.

Why we value AlabamaWorks!

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed)

It’s a good time to be living in Alabama. Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate is reaching record lows. People are getting jobs and the training they need. Companies, like ours, are expanding. Our state, and our people, are prospering.

524

This is great for us as a whole, but it can be challenging for businesses like ours. The competition for employees is fierce. We needed an avenue to help us get an edge in the recruiting world. This is when we discovered the Alabama Workforce Council.

The AWC is a group composed primarily of business representatives that seeks to close the gaps between open jobs, training and qualified employees. It includes the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama Department of Commerce (including AIDT), the Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Technology Network. The AWC does this primarily through AlabamaWorks.

AlabamaWorks is comprised of seven workforce regions around the state. Each region hosts quarterly meetings in its geographic area to bring all groups together (like the AWC), but they also have several business/industry clusters to further assist those sectors with particular challenges.

We have found many benefits by being involved in our regional division, Central AlabamaWorks. As active participants in the advanced manufacturing cluster, we are able to share our needs and network with our peers to discuss which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

Central AlabamaWorks is not only providing resources for today, but they are also working towards strengthening the future of our workforce pipeline by hosting two Career Discovery Expos in our region. It has been our pleasure to volunteer to support the mission of Central AlabamaWorks through the Career Discovery Spring Expo, April 4-5 at Trenholm State Community College.”

In addition to talking with our peers, we get the opportunity to learn about financial reimbursement programs, such as on-the-job-training, and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, which provides federal dollars directly to the trainee. Outstanding resources are also available through Apprenticeship Alabama.

AlabamaWorks even has a website, www.alabamaworks.com, which provides a venue for us to post jobs/paid apprenticeships, search resumes and list our free training programs. Best of all, it is free for both the employer and those who are seeking training and/or employment.

What’s great about AlabamaWorks is that it continues to evolve to meet our state’s needs to be competitive now and in the future. With the roaring economy and record number of people employed, Governor Ivey saw a need to determine exactly how many certified/degreed individuals our businesses would need for their workforce of today and tomorrow. She formed a special subcommittee of the AWC to study this and make recommendations to determine this number and to formulate a pathway to make it a reality.

Through data collection, research and focus groups, the special committee determined that the state would need an extra 500,000 highly-skilled individuals added to our workforce by 2025. This initiative, entitled AlabamaWorks Success Plus, was published and presented to Governor Ivey earlier this year.

Like everyone else, we have busy schedules. But, we make time to attend and actively participate in AlabamaWorks’ quarterly summits and cluster meetings. We believe it is worth our investment and think you will, too. Visit the website to learn how your company can benefit from AlabamaWorks’ programs, opportunities, networking and resources.

Written by: Tony E. Wojciechowski, chief human resources officer and Robin Ricks, recruitment, workforce development and public relations specialist Hyundai Power Transformers USA

Why we value AlabamaWorks!

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed)

It’s a good time to be living in Alabama. Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate is reaching record lows. People are getting jobs and the training they need. Companies, like ours, are expanding. Our state, and our people, are prospering.

524

This is great for us as a whole, but it can be challenging for businesses like ours. The competition for employees is fierce. We needed an avenue to help us get an edge in the recruiting world. This is when we discovered the Alabama Workforce Council.

The AWC is a group composed primarily of business representatives that seeks to close the gaps between open jobs, training and qualified employees. It includes the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama Department of Commerce (including AIDT), the Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Technology Network. The AWC does this primarily through AlabamaWorks.

AlabamaWorks is comprised of seven workforce regions around the state. Each region hosts quarterly meetings in its geographic area to bring all groups together (like the AWC), but they also have several business/industry clusters to further assist those sectors with particular challenges.

We have found many benefits by being involved in our regional division, Central AlabamaWorks. As active participants in the advanced manufacturing cluster, we are able to share our needs and network with our peers to discuss which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

Central AlabamaWorks is not only providing resources for today, but they are also working towards strengthening the future of our workforce pipeline by hosting two Career Discovery Expos in our region. It has been our pleasure to volunteer to support the mission of Central AlabamaWorks through the Career Discovery Spring Expo, April 4-5 at Trenholm State Community College.”

In addition to talking with our peers, we get the opportunity to learn about financial reimbursement programs, such as on-the-job-training, and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, which provides federal dollars directly to the trainee. Outstanding resources are also available through Apprenticeship Alabama.

AlabamaWorks even has a website, www.alabamaworks.com, which provides a venue for us to post jobs/paid apprenticeships, search resumes and list our free training programs. Best of all, it is free for both the employer and those who are seeking training and/or employment.

What’s great about AlabamaWorks is that it continues to evolve to meet our state’s needs to be competitive now and in the future. With the roaring economy and record number of people employed, Governor Ivey saw a need to determine exactly how many certified/degreed individuals our businesses would need for their workforce of today and tomorrow. She formed a special subcommittee of the AWC to study this and make recommendations to determine this number and to formulate a pathway to make it a reality.

Through data collection, research and focus groups, the special committee determined that the state would need an extra 500,000 highly-skilled individuals added to our workforce by 2025. This initiative, entitled AlabamaWorks Success Plus, was published and presented to Governor Ivey earlier this year.

Like everyone else, we have busy schedules. But, we make time to attend and actively participate in AlabamaWorks’ quarterly summits and cluster meetings. We believe it is worth our investment and think you will, too. Visit the website to learn how your company can benefit from AlabamaWorks’ programs, opportunities, networking and resources.

Written by: Tony E. Wojciechowski, chief human resources officer and Robin Ricks, recruitment, workforce development and public relations specialist Hyundai Power Transformers USA

Why We Value AlabamaWorks!

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed)

It’s a good time to be living in Alabama. Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate is reaching record lows. People are getting jobs and the training they need. Companies, like ours, are expanding. Our state, and our people, are prospering.

524

This is great for us as a whole, but it can be challenging for businesses like ours. The competition for employees is fierce. We needed an avenue to help us get an edge in the recruiting world. This is when we discovered the Alabama Workforce Council.

The AWC is a group composed primarily of business representatives that seeks to close the gaps between open jobs, training and qualified employees. It includes the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama Department of Commerce (including AIDT), the Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Technology Network. The AWC does this primarily through AlabamaWorks.

AlabamaWorks is comprised of seven workforce regions around the state. Each region hosts quarterly meetings in its geographic area to bring all groups together (like the AWC), but they also have several business/industry clusters to further assist those sectors with particular challenges.

We have found many benefits by being involved in our regional division, Central AlabamaWorks. As active participants in the advanced manufacturing cluster, we are able to share our needs and network with our peers to discuss which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

Central AlabamaWorks is not only providing resources for today, but they are also working towards strengthening the future of our workforce pipeline by hosting two Career Discovery Expos in our region. It has been our pleasure to volunteer to support the mission of Central AlabamaWorks through the Career Discovery Spring Expo, April 4-5 at Trenholm State Community College.”

In addition to talking with our peers, we get the opportunity to learn about financial reimbursement programs, such as on-the-job-training, and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, which provides federal dollars directly to the trainee. Outstanding resources are also available through Apprenticeship Alabama.

AlabamaWorks even has a website, www.alabamaworks.com, which provides a venue for us to post jobs/paid apprenticeships, search resumes and list our free training programs. Best of all, it is free for both the employer and those who are seeking training and/or employment.

What’s great about AlabamaWorks is that it continues to evolve to meet our state’s needs to be competitive now and in the future. With the roaring economy and record number of people employed, Governor Ivey saw a need to determine exactly how many certified/degreed individuals our businesses would need for their workforce of today and tomorrow. She formed a special subcommittee of the AWC to study this and make recommendations to determine this number and to formulate a pathway to make it a reality.

Through data collection, research and focus groups, the special committee determined that the state would need an extra 500,000 highly-skilled individuals added to our workforce by 2025. This initiative, entitled AlabamaWorks Success Plus, was published and presented to Governor Ivey earlier this year.

Like everyone else, we have busy schedules. But, we make time to attend and actively participate in AlabamaWorks’ quarterly summits and cluster meetings. We believe it is worth our investment and think you will, too. Visit the website to learn how your company can benefit from AlabamaWorks’ programs, opportunities, networking and resources.

Written by: Tony E. Wojciechowski, chief human resources officer and Robin Ricks, recruitment, workforce development and public relations specialist Hyundai Power Transformers USA

Why We Value AlabamaWorks!

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed)

It’s a good time to be living in Alabama. Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate is reaching record lows. People are getting jobs and the training they need. Companies, like ours, are expanding. Our state, and our people, are prospering.

524

This is great for us as a whole, but it can be challenging for businesses like ours. The competition for employees is fierce. We needed an avenue to help us get an edge in the recruiting world. This is when we discovered the Alabama Workforce Council.

The AWC is a group composed primarily of business representatives that seeks to close the gaps between open jobs, training and qualified employees. It includes the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama Department of Commerce (including AIDT), the Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Technology Network. The AWC does this primarily through AlabamaWorks.

AlabamaWorks is comprised of seven workforce regions around the state. Each region hosts quarterly meetings in its geographic area to bring all groups together (like the AWC), but they also have several business/industry clusters to further assist those sectors with particular challenges.

We have found many benefits by being involved in our regional division, Central AlabamaWorks. As active participants in the advanced manufacturing cluster, we are able to share our needs and network with our peers to discuss which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

Central AlabamaWorks is not only providing resources for today, but they are also working towards strengthening the future of our workforce pipeline by hosting two Career Discovery Expos in our region. It has been our pleasure to volunteer to support the mission of Central AlabamaWorks through the Career Discovery Spring Expo, April 4-5 at Trenholm State Community College.”

In addition to talking with our peers, we get the opportunity to learn about financial reimbursement programs, such as on-the-job-training, and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, which provides federal dollars directly to the trainee. Outstanding resources are also available through Apprenticeship Alabama.

AlabamaWorks even has a website, www.alabamaworks.com, which provides a venue for us to post jobs/paid apprenticeships, search resumes and list our free training programs. Best of all, it is free for both the employer and those who are seeking training and/or employment.

What’s great about AlabamaWorks is that it continues to evolve to meet our state’s needs to be competitive now and in the future. With the roaring economy and record number of people employed, Governor Ivey saw a need to determine exactly how many certified/degreed individuals our businesses would need for their workforce of today and tomorrow. She formed a special subcommittee of the AWC to study this and make recommendations to determine this number and to formulate a pathway to make it a reality.

Through data collection, research and focus groups, the special committee determined that the state would need an extra 500,000 highly-skilled individuals added to our workforce by 2025. This initiative, entitled AlabamaWorks Success Plus, was published and presented to Governor Ivey earlier this year.

Like everyone else, we have busy schedules. But, we make time to attend and actively participate in AlabamaWorks’ quarterly summits and cluster meetings. We believe it is worth our investment and think you will, too. Visit the website to learn how your company can benefit from AlabamaWorks’ programs, opportunities, networking and resources.

Written by: Tony E. Wojciechowski, chief human resources officer and Robin Ricks, recruitment, workforce development and public relations specialist Hyundai Power Transformers USA

Why we value AlabamaWorks!

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed)

It’s a good time to be living in Alabama. Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate is reaching record lows. People are getting jobs and the training they need. Companies, like ours, are expanding. Our state, and our people, are prospering.

524

This is great for us as a whole, but it can be challenging for businesses like ours. The competition for employees is fierce. We needed an avenue to help us get an edge in the recruiting world. This is when we discovered the Alabama Workforce Council.

The AWC is a group composed primarily of business representatives that seeks to close the gaps between open jobs, training and qualified employees. It includes the Alabama Community College System, the Alabama Department of Commerce (including AIDT), the Alabama Department of Education and the Alabama Technology Network. The AWC does this primarily through AlabamaWorks.

AlabamaWorks is comprised of seven workforce regions around the state. Each region hosts quarterly meetings in its geographic area to bring all groups together (like the AWC), but they also have several business/industry clusters to further assist those sectors with particular challenges.

We have found many benefits by being involved in our regional division, Central AlabamaWorks. As active participants in the advanced manufacturing cluster, we are able to share our needs and network with our peers to discuss which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

Central AlabamaWorks is not only providing resources for today, but they are also working towards strengthening the future of our workforce pipeline by hosting two Career Discovery Expos in our region. It has been our pleasure to volunteer to support the mission of Central AlabamaWorks through the Career Discovery Spring Expo, April 4-5 at Trenholm State Community College.”

In addition to talking with our peers, we get the opportunity to learn about financial reimbursement programs, such as on-the-job-training, and the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act, which provides federal dollars directly to the trainee. Outstanding resources are also available through Apprenticeship Alabama.

AlabamaWorks even has a website, www.alabamaworks.com, which provides a venue for us to post jobs/paid apprenticeships, search resumes and list our free training programs. Best of all, it is free for both the employer and those who are seeking training and/or employment.

What’s great about AlabamaWorks is that it continues to evolve to meet our state’s needs to be competitive now and in the future. With the roaring economy and record number of people employed, Governor Ivey saw a need to determine exactly how many certified/degreed individuals our businesses would need for their workforce of today and tomorrow. She formed a special subcommittee of the AWC to study this and make recommendations to determine this number and to formulate a pathway to make it a reality.

Through data collection, research and focus groups, the special committee determined that the state would need an extra 500,000 highly-skilled individuals added to our workforce by 2025. This initiative, entitled AlabamaWorks Success Plus, was published and presented to Governor Ivey earlier this year.

Like everyone else, we have busy schedules. But, we make time to attend and actively participate in AlabamaWorks’ quarterly summits and cluster meetings. We believe it is worth our investment and think you will, too. Visit the website to learn how your company can benefit from AlabamaWorks’ programs, opportunities, networking and resources.

Written by: Tony E. Wojciechowski, chief human resources officer and Robin Ricks, recruitment, workforce development and public relations specialist Hyundai Power Transformers USA

‘Alabama will need 500,000 highly skilled workers by 2025’ – Tim McCartney, Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council.

(AlabamaWorks!)

East AlabamaWorks! came to the studio to discuss the connection between the Alabama WorkForce Council and East AlabamaWorks!

Lisa Morales, director of East AlabamaWorks! tells “The Ford Faction” how she has bridged the gap between skilled workers and the industry.

Tim McCartney, Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council, explained what Gov. Kay Ivey has been doing to get the numbers to the council for the upcoming workers they will need. By 2025, Alabama will need 500,000 highly-skilled workers.

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It may be a massive goal, but with the time and effort they are putting into developing a workforce from G.E.D. to college diplomas, it is possible. It begins with educating the students of Alabama as young as 8th grade. Showing these students the different industries and what education it takes to get there is crucial when it comes to getting these young minds on the right track for their future.

East AlabamaWorks! is continuing to be the bridge between industry and workforce and when the industry continues to grow, so will Alabama’s skilled workforce.

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High school RTW program sets pathway for AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

By: Garth Thorpe, workforce development manager, The Onin Group

The skills needed for today’s modern workplace are shifting, and leaders are working diligently to prepare the next generation of workers. However, there is a growing skills mismatch looming across our country – evidence that the “you must go to college and be successful” narrative, which has been built into the fabric of many of our educational institutions, no longer applies. That’s especially true in Alabama.

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College isn’t the only gateway to success, as Gov. Kay Ivey said earlier this year when she announced her AlabamaWorks! Success Plus initiative, with a goal of adding to the workforce an additional 500,000 Alabamians with high school-plus credentials by 2025. This initiative emphasizes the need for businesses and educational institutions to prepare students for the workforce of today and beyond.

Today, companies are desperately seeking prospective employees who have skills that do not necessarily require a four-year degree. This demand is across virtually all business sectors — healthcare, manufacturing, technical and industrial, to name just a few.

I became involved in credentialing and workforce development at Central High School in Tuscaloosa. The principal of Central High, Dr. Clarence Sutton Jr., was faced with a serious dilemma on his hands. He saw some of his graduating seniors who weren’t going to college falling through the cracks of society without any work or purpose.

Once we learned about the need facing Central High School and met Dr. Sutton personally, we immediately adopted his high school as our own. To solve the unemployment barrier facing graduating seniors at Central High, Ōnin brought employers together to tackle this issue. In conjunction with Phifer Inc., we designed a catalyst for change that could be applied throughout the entire state of Alabama.

The High School Ready-to-Work Program is an employer-led initiative that creates a career pathway for high school seniors and builds a local talent pipeline for industries. Students take part in a semester-long course that begins with six weeks of AIDT’s Ready-To-Work soft skills training, problem-solving and various work-readiness skills. The next 12-13 weeks cover industry-specific content that is designed by local employers to meet real, local hiring needs.

Each industry week creates a work world for the students to step into and explore. Upon successful completion of the High School Ready-to-Work program, students receive a National Career Readiness Certificate and an Alabama Certified Worker Certificate. With a job placement percentage close to 90 percent, this program has successfully created career opportunities for the students.

The High School Ready-to-Work program has since expanded rapidly to more than 15 other schools in west Alabama. It is also spreading to multiple schools in the Birmingham metro area and beyond.

True impact requires new forms of collaboration, so as this High School Ready-to-Work program grows across Alabama, Ōnin is seeking additional collaboration with employers and others to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow and jobs without letting anyone slip through the cracks. It’s a challenging goal, but one in which we must all unite to achieve.

High school RTW program sets pathway for AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

By: Garth Thorpe, workforce development manager, The Onin Group

The skills needed for today’s modern workplace are shifting, and leaders are working diligently to prepare the next generation of workers. However, there is a growing skills mismatch looming across our country – evidence that the “you must go to college and be successful” narrative, which has been built into the fabric of many of our educational institutions, no longer applies. That’s especially true in Alabama.

College isn’t the only gateway to success, as Gov. Kay Ivey said earlier this year when she announced her AlabamaWorks! Success Plus initiative, with a goal of adding to the workforce an additional 500,000 Alabamians with high school-plus credentials by 2025. This initiative emphasizes the need for businesses and educational institutions to prepare students for the workforce of today and beyond.

361

Today, companies are desperately seeking prospective employees who have skills that do not necessarily require a four-year degree. This demand is across virtually all business sectors — healthcare, manufacturing, technical and industrial, to name just a few.

I became involved in credentialing and workforce development at Central High School in Tuscaloosa. The principal of Central High, Dr. Clarence Sutton Jr., was faced with a serious dilemma on his hands. He saw some of his graduating seniors who weren’t going to college falling through the cracks of society without any work or purpose.

Once we learned about the need facing Central High School and met Dr. Sutton personally, we immediately adopted his high school as our own. To solve the unemployment barrier facing graduating seniors at Central High, Ōnin brought employers together to tackle this issue. In conjunction with Phifer Inc., we designed a catalyst for change that could be applied throughout the entire state of Alabama.

The High School Ready-to-Work Program is an employer-led initiative that creates a career pathway for high school seniors and builds a local talent pipeline for industries. Students take part in a semester-long course that begins with six weeks of AIDT’s Ready-To-Work soft skills training, problem-solving and various work-readiness skills. The next 12-13 weeks cover industry-specific content that is designed by local employers to meet real, local hiring needs.

Each industry week creates a work world for the students to step into and explore. Upon successful completion of the High School Ready-to-Work program, students receive a National Career Readiness Certificate and an Alabama Certified Worker Certificate. With a job placement percentage close to 90 percent, this program has successfully created career opportunities for the students.

The High School Ready-to-Work program has since expanded rapidly to more than 15 other schools in west Alabama. It is also spreading to multiple schools in the Birmingham metro area and beyond.

True impact requires new forms of collaboration, so as this High School Ready-to-Work program grows across Alabama, Ōnin is seeking additional collaboration with employers and others to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow and jobs without letting anyone slip through the cracks. It’s a challenging goal, but one in which we must all unite to achieve.

High school RTW program sets pathway for AlabamaWorks! Success Plus

(AlabamaWorks!)

By: Garth Thorpe, workforce development manager, The Onin Group

The skills needed for today’s modern workplace are shifting, and leaders are working diligently to prepare the next generation of workers. However, there is a growing skills mismatch looming across our country – evidence that the “you must go to college and be successful” narrative, which has been built into the fabric of many of our educational institutions, no longer applies. That’s especially true in Alabama.

College isn’t the only gateway to success, as Gov. Kay Ivey said earlier this year when she announced her AlabamaWorks! Success Plus initiative, with a goal of adding to the workforce an additional 500,000 Alabamians with high school-plus credentials by 2025. This initiative emphasizes the need for businesses and educational institutions to prepare students for the workforce of today and beyond.

Today, companies are desperately seeking prospective employees who have skills that do not necessarily require a four-year degree. This demand is across virtually all business sectors — healthcare, manufacturing, technical and industrial, to name just a few.

I became involved in credentialing and workforce development at Central High School in Tuscaloosa. The principal of Central High, Dr. Clarence Sutton Jr., was faced with a serious dilemma on his hands. He saw some of his graduating seniors who weren’t going to college falling through the cracks of society without any work or purpose.

Once we learned about the need facing Central High School and met Dr. Sutton personally, we immediately adopted his high school as our own. To solve the unemployment barrier facing graduating seniors at Central High, Ōnin brought employers together to tackle this issue. In conjunction with Phifer Inc., we designed a catalyst for change that could be applied throughout the entire state of Alabama.

The High School Ready-to-Work Program is an employer-led initiative that creates a career pathway for high school seniors and builds a local talent pipeline for industries. Students take part in a semester-long course that begins with six weeks of AIDT’s Ready-To-Work soft skills training, problem-solving and various work-readiness skills. The next 12-13 weeks cover industry-specific content that is designed by local employers to meet real, local hiring needs.

Each industry week creates a work world for the students to step into and explore. Upon successful completion of the High School Ready-to-Work program, students receive a National Career Readiness Certificate and an Alabama Certified Worker Certificate. With a job placement percentage close to 90 percent, this program has successfully created career opportunities for the students.

The High School Ready-to-Work program has since expanded rapidly to more than 15 other schools in west Alabama. It is also spreading to multiple schools in the Birmingham metro area and beyond.

True impact requires new forms of collaboration, so as this High School Ready-to-Work program grows across Alabama, Ōnin is seeking additional collaboration with employers and others to prepare today’s youth for tomorrow and jobs without letting anyone slip through the cracks. It’s a challenging goal, but one in which we must all unite to achieve.

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