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.

Blind spots on Alabama’s Workforce Super Highway

(Made in Alabama/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)

Have you ever been traveling down the highway, about to change lanes when you look over your shoulder and see there is a car in your blind spot? How long was it there? Why didn’t you notice it before?

It’s critical to the situation at hand, and all it took was a different perspective to notice it. When traveling the Workforce Super Highway there are several population segments that are crucial to solving our workforce needs, but we have failed to look at them from a different perspective.

A quick glance around shows an untapped labor source right in front of us, living in our communities and across each of the seven workforce regions. They are shopping with you at the grocery store, sitting in the stands at the Friday night ball games and very much qualified to work in most of the jobs open in Alabama.

437

They are people who simply need an opportunity and training to become key travelers on the Alabama Workforce Super Highway.

So, who are these potential workers? They are Alabama citizens who are deaf/hard of hearing, have vision loss, or have an intellectual or physical disability and require accommodations to obtain or maintain employment. Each day, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) works with Alabamians with disabilities to provide vocational evaluations, recommend accommodations or assist with training to ensure employee success.

ADRS also works with employers at no cost, providing pre-hire screening and disability-related training and recommending worksite accommodations needed to retain valued employees.

Families, friends and recovering addicts affected by the Opioid Crisis are another group of potential workers in the blind spot. You may have seen all the attention given to this topic…this is a crisis, but with the right intervention, an addict can be rehabilitated. With the help of professionals, they can find their place in our workforce.

It is fixable and Governor Ivey has appointed some brilliant people who are working diligently to help our state with strategies to reverse the situation. Today, a large number of these affected individuals could be your next employee.

State and federal prisoners in Alabama represent a future workforce segment of very capable and skilled individuals. There are many re-entry programs across the state involved with assisting soon-to-be-released prisoners with a means to employment.

One of those organizations is the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). ACCS has several dedicated programs looking for opportunities to connect these men and women back into the workforce.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) works to connect individuals with training and social skill development to provide opportunities to enter the workforce. Many of DHR’s clients receive SNAP and TANF federal dollars and face economic, transportation and childcare barriers preventing them from working.

DHR works closely with Family Resource Centers across the state to help these potential workers overcome barriers to employment.

In essence, workforce sources that are often overlooked or forgotten are extremely important and valuable to Alabama’s growing workforce demand. These sources are not “mainstream” and sometimes require a little more work and effort, but typically these individuals when given a chance to prove themselves are extraordinary, loyal and committed.

None of these sources is the complete answer to our workforce challenges, but they are great sources of untapped potential to be used in
tandem.

Contact each of these agencies for more information or simply go to AlabamaWorks.com for contact information and motor onto the Workforce Super Highway.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training

Blind spots on Alabama’s Workforce Super Highway

(Made in Alabama/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)

Have you ever been traveling down the highway, about to change lanes when you look over your shoulder and see there is a car in your blind spot? How long was it there? Why didn’t you notice it before?

It’s critical to the situation at hand, and all it took was a different perspective to notice it. When traveling the Workforce Super Highway there are several population segments that are crucial to solving our workforce needs, but we have failed to look at them from a different perspective.

A quick glance around shows an untapped labor source right in front of us, living in our communities and across each of the seven workforce regions. They are shopping with you at the grocery store, sitting in the stands at the Friday night ball games and very much qualified to work in most of the jobs open in Alabama.

437

They are people who simply need an opportunity and training to become key travelers on the Alabama Workforce Super Highway.

So, who are these potential workers? They are Alabama citizens who are deaf/hard of hearing, have vision loss, or have an intellectual or physical disability and require accommodations to obtain or maintain employment. Each day, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) works with Alabamians with disabilities to provide vocational evaluations, recommend accommodations or assist with training to ensure employee success.

ADRS also works with employers at no cost, providing pre-hire screening and disability-related training and recommending worksite accommodations needed to retain valued employees.

Families, friends and recovering addicts affected by the Opioid Crisis are another group of potential workers in the blind spot. You may have seen all the attention given to this topic…this is a crisis, but with the right intervention, an addict can be rehabilitated. With the help of professionals, they can find their place in our workforce.

It is fixable and Governor Ivey has appointed some brilliant people who are working diligently to help our state with strategies to reverse the situation. Today, a large number of these affected individuals could be your next employee.

State and federal prisoners in Alabama represent a future workforce segment of very capable and skilled individuals. There are many re-entry programs across the state involved with assisting soon-to-be-released prisoners with a means to employment.

One of those organizations is the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). ACCS has several dedicated programs looking for opportunities to connect these men and women back into the workforce.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) works to connect individuals with training and social skill development to provide opportunities to enter the workforce. Many of DHR’s clients receive SNAP and TANF federal dollars and face economic, transportation and childcare barriers preventing them from working.

DHR works closely with Family Resource Centers across the state to help these potential workers overcome barriers to employment.

In essence, workforce sources that are often overlooked or forgotten are extremely important and valuable to Alabama’s growing workforce demand. These sources are not “mainstream” and sometimes require a little more work and effort, but typically these individuals when given a chance to prove themselves are extraordinary, loyal and committed.

None of these sources is the complete answer to our workforce challenges, but they are great sources of untapped potential to be used in
tandem.

Contact each of these agencies for more information or simply go to AlabamaWorks.com for contact information and motor onto the Workforce Super Highway.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training

Blind spots on Alabama’s Workforce Super Highway

(Made in Alabama/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)

Have you ever been traveling down the highway, about to change lanes when you look over your shoulder and see there is a car in your blind spot? How long was it there? Why didn’t you notice it before?

It’s critical to the situation at hand, and all it took was a different perspective to notice it. When traveling the Workforce Super Highway there are several population segments that are crucial to solving our workforce needs, but we have failed to look at them from a different perspective.

A quick glance around shows an untapped labor source right in front of us, living in our communities and across each of the seven workforce regions. They are shopping with you at the grocery store, sitting in the stands at the Friday night ball games and very much qualified to work in most of the jobs open in Alabama.

437

They are people who simply need an opportunity and training to become key travelers on the Alabama Workforce Super Highway.

So, who are these potential workers? They are Alabama citizens who are deaf/hard of hearing, have vision loss, or have an intellectual or physical disability and require accommodations to obtain or maintain employment. Each day, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) works with Alabamians with disabilities to provide vocational evaluations, recommend accommodations or assist with training to ensure employee success.

ADRS also works with employers at no cost, providing pre-hire screening and disability-related training and recommending worksite accommodations needed to retain valued employees.

Families, friends and recovering addicts affected by the Opioid Crisis are another group of potential workers in the blind spot. You may have seen all the attention given to this topic…this is a crisis, but with the right intervention, an addict can be rehabilitated. With the help of professionals, they can find their place in our workforce.

It is fixable and Governor Ivey has appointed some brilliant people who are working diligently to help our state with strategies to reverse the situation. Today, a large number of these affected individuals could be your next employee.

State and federal prisoners in Alabama represent a future workforce segment of very capable and skilled individuals. There are many re-entry programs across the state involved with assisting soon-to-be-released prisoners with a means to employment.

One of those organizations is the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). ACCS has several dedicated programs looking for opportunities to connect these men and women back into the workforce.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) works to connect individuals with training and social skill development to provide opportunities to enter the workforce. Many of DHR’s clients receive SNAP and TANF federal dollars and face economic, transportation and childcare barriers preventing them from working.

DHR works closely with Family Resource Centers across the state to help these potential workers overcome barriers to employment.

In essence, workforce sources that are often overlooked or forgotten are extremely important and valuable to Alabama’s growing workforce demand. These sources are not “mainstream” and sometimes require a little more work and effort, but typically these individuals when given a chance to prove themselves are extraordinary, loyal and committed.

None of these sources is the complete answer to our workforce challenges, but they are great sources of untapped potential to be used in
tandem.

Contact each of these agencies for more information or simply go to AlabamaWorks.com for contact information and motor onto the Workforce Super Highway.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training

Blind spots on Alabama’s Workforce Super Highway

(Made in Alabama/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)

Have you ever been traveling down the highway, about to change lanes when you look over your shoulder and see there is a car in your blind spot? How long was it there? Why didn’t you notice it before?

It’s critical to the situation at hand, and all it took was a different perspective to notice it. When traveling the Workforce Super Highway there are several population segments that are crucial to solving our workforce needs, but we have failed to look at them from a different perspective.

A quick glance around shows an untapped labor source right in front of us, living in our communities and across each of the seven workforce regions. They are shopping with you at the grocery store, sitting in the stands at the Friday night ball games and very much qualified to work in most of the jobs open in Alabama.

437

They are people who simply need an opportunity and training to become key travelers on the Alabama Workforce Super Highway.

So, who are these potential workers? They are Alabama citizens who are deaf/hard of hearing, have vision loss, or have an intellectual or physical disability and require accommodations to obtain or maintain employment. Each day, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) works with Alabamians with disabilities to provide vocational evaluations, recommend accommodations or assist with training to ensure employee success.

ADRS also works with employers at no cost, providing pre-hire screening and disability-related training and recommending worksite accommodations needed to retain valued employees.

Families, friends and recovering addicts affected by the Opioid Crisis are another group of potential workers in the blind spot. You may have seen all the attention given to this topic…this is a crisis, but with the right intervention, an addict can be rehabilitated. With the help of professionals, they can find their place in our workforce.

It is fixable and Governor Ivey has appointed some brilliant people who are working diligently to help our state with strategies to reverse the situation. Today, a large number of these affected individuals could be your next employee.

State and federal prisoners in Alabama represent a future workforce segment of very capable and skilled individuals. There are many re-entry programs across the state involved with assisting soon-to-be-released prisoners with a means to employment.

One of those organizations is the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). ACCS has several dedicated programs looking for opportunities to connect these men and women back into the workforce.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) works to connect individuals with training and social skill development to provide opportunities to enter the workforce. Many of DHR’s clients receive SNAP and TANF federal dollars and face economic, transportation and childcare barriers preventing them from working.

DHR works closely with Family Resource Centers across the state to help these potential workers overcome barriers to employment.

In essence, workforce sources that are often overlooked or forgotten are extremely important and valuable to Alabama’s growing workforce demand. These sources are not “mainstream” and sometimes require a little more work and effort, but typically these individuals when given a chance to prove themselves are extraordinary, loyal and committed.

None of these sources is the complete answer to our workforce challenges, but they are great sources of untapped potential to be used in
tandem.

Contact each of these agencies for more information or simply go to AlabamaWorks.com for contact information and motor onto the Workforce Super Highway.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training

Blind spots on Alabama’s Workforce Super Highway

(Made in Alabama/Contributed, PIxabay, YHN)

Have you ever been traveling down the highway, about to change lanes when you look over your shoulder and see there is a car in your blind spot? How long was it there? Why didn’t you notice it before?

It’s critical to the situation at hand, and all it took was a different perspective to notice it. When traveling the Workforce Super Highway there are several population segments that are crucial to solving our workforce needs, but we have failed to look at them from a different perspective.

A quick glance around shows an untapped labor source right in front of us, living in our communities and across each of the seven workforce regions. They are shopping with you at the grocery store, sitting in the stands at the Friday night ball games and very much qualified to work in most of the jobs open in Alabama.

437

They are people who simply need an opportunity and training to become key travelers on the Alabama Workforce Super Highway.

So, who are these potential workers? They are Alabama citizens who are deaf/hard of hearing, have vision loss, or have an intellectual or physical disability and require accommodations to obtain or maintain employment. Each day, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) works with Alabamians with disabilities to provide vocational evaluations, recommend accommodations or assist with training to ensure employee success.

ADRS also works with employers at no cost, providing pre-hire screening and disability-related training and recommending worksite accommodations needed to retain valued employees.

Families, friends and recovering addicts affected by the Opioid Crisis are another group of potential workers in the blind spot. You may have seen all the attention given to this topic…this is a crisis, but with the right intervention, an addict can be rehabilitated. With the help of professionals, they can find their place in our workforce.

It is fixable and Governor Ivey has appointed some brilliant people who are working diligently to help our state with strategies to reverse the situation. Today, a large number of these affected individuals could be your next employee.

State and federal prisoners in Alabama represent a future workforce segment of very capable and skilled individuals. There are many re-entry programs across the state involved with assisting soon-to-be-released prisoners with a means to employment.

One of those organizations is the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). ACCS has several dedicated programs looking for opportunities to connect these men and women back into the workforce.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) works to connect individuals with training and social skill development to provide opportunities to enter the workforce. Many of DHR’s clients receive SNAP and TANF federal dollars and face economic, transportation and childcare barriers preventing them from working.

DHR works closely with Family Resource Centers across the state to help these potential workers overcome barriers to employment.

In essence, workforce sources that are often overlooked or forgotten are extremely important and valuable to Alabama’s growing workforce demand. These sources are not “mainstream” and sometimes require a little more work and effort, but typically these individuals when given a chance to prove themselves are extraordinary, loyal and committed.

None of these sources is the complete answer to our workforce challenges, but they are great sources of untapped potential to be used in
tandem.

Contact each of these agencies for more information or simply go to AlabamaWorks.com for contact information and motor onto the Workforce Super Highway.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of Alabama Industrial Development Training

Alabama’s workforce superhighway

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed, YHN)

Alabama’s workforce programs have undergone several changes in the past couple years and to say that this has caused some confusion would be a huge understatement!

I liken it to the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act which created the beginnings of the Interstate system that focused on building a system of connected roads that would funnel traffic from smaller roads into safer, more efficient “Super Highways.”

When we look at workforce development in Alabama over the last 50 years, we’ve been a mishmash of programs or smaller roads all leading to the same goal, but having to travel those roads on a wildly divergent path.

In a few words, I’d like to clear up the confusion and untie the knot related to the programs housed within the Alabama Department of Commerce.

443

Commerce has two divisions: Business Development and Workforce Development. In the workforce division, there are five areas of responsibility: AIDT, WIOA, AWC, RWCs and AOA.

AIDT is Alabama’s premier workforce training incentive. We offer job-specific training to new and expanding industries in Alabama and expand job opportunities of its citizens. AIDT does this at no cost to the company or the citizen.

In addition, through the use of our Centers of Excellence, AIDT provides “upskilling” for existing companies in Alabama through in-depth training in robotics and automation at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, Maritime and shipbuilding training at the Maritime Training Center.

The WIOA or Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act is a federal program used to help socially and economically disadvantaged populations and dislocated workers. WIOA funds the One-Stop Career Centers (managed by DOL) and also provides Rapid Response teams to affected plants that are closing.

Their goal is to keep as many workers working and retrain, through financial assistance and scholarships, those workers that need new skills to remain viable employees.

The AWC or Alabama Workforce Council is an advisory council whose main mission is to facilitate the strategic workforce agenda across Alabama to ensure that the goals are achieved. The AWC, made up of business and industry leaders, routinely advise and promote legislative matters to continually improve the workforce system in Alabama.

The RWCs or Regional Workforce Councils (7) focus their attention on a more local level. Each council is made up of business and local leaders from their respective counties and are directed to help identify issues in the workforce and plan strategically for how to overcome any obstacles.

Then there is the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship or AOA, originally created by legislation in 2016 as Apprenticeship Alabama. New legislation in 2019 created a state apprenticeship agency that will now serve as the central hub for certifying and managing apprenticeships here in Alabama.

AOA will now be able to certify not only Registered Apprenticeship Programs but the new Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS). The new IRAPs are for apprenticeships in more non-traditional business sectors such as tech companies or healthcare.

We have taken these five feeder roads and merged them into our “Workforce Superhighway” that ultimately leads the state to the goal of Success Plus, Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to have more than 500,000 credentialed workers in Alabama by 2025.

This new crop of workers and those who are looking for a new direction should be able to effortlessly travel the new “Workforce Super Highway” with easy access and exits through the state’s new portal known as AlabamaWorks! Please see www.alabamaworks.com when you are ready.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of AIDT

Alabama’s workforce superhighway

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed, YHN)

Alabama’s workforce programs have undergone several changes in the past couple years and to say that this has caused some confusion would be a huge understatement!

I liken it to the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act which created the beginnings of the Interstate system that focused on building a system of connected roads that would funnel traffic from smaller roads into safer, more efficient “Super Highways.”

When we look at workforce development in Alabama over the last 50 years, we’ve been a mishmash of programs or smaller roads all leading to the same goal, but having to travel those roads on a wildly divergent path.

In a few words, I’d like to clear up the confusion and untie the knot related to the programs housed within the Alabama Department of Commerce.

443

Commerce has two divisions: Business Development and Workforce Development. In the workforce division, there are five areas of responsibility: AIDT, WIOA, AWC, RWCs and AOA.

AIDT is Alabama’s premier workforce training incentive. We offer job-specific training to new and expanding industries in Alabama and expand job opportunities of its citizens. AIDT does this at no cost to the company or the citizen.

In addition, through the use of our Centers of Excellence, AIDT provides “upskilling” for existing companies in Alabama through in-depth training in robotics and automation at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, Maritime and shipbuilding training at the Maritime Training Center.

The WIOA or Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act is a federal program used to help socially and economically disadvantaged populations and dislocated workers. WIOA funds the One-Stop Career Centers (managed by DOL) and also provides Rapid Response teams to affected plants that are closing.

Their goal is to keep as many workers working and retrain, through financial assistance and scholarships, those workers that need new skills to remain viable employees.

The AWC or Alabama Workforce Council is an advisory council whose main mission is to facilitate the strategic workforce agenda across Alabama to ensure that the goals are achieved. The AWC, made up of business and industry leaders, routinely advise and promote legislative matters to continually improve the workforce system in Alabama.

The RWCs or Regional Workforce Councils (7) focus their attention on a more local level. Each council is made up of business and local leaders from their respective counties and are directed to help identify issues in the workforce and plan strategically for how to overcome any obstacles.

Then there is the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship or AOA, originally created by legislation in 2016 as Apprenticeship Alabama. New legislation in 2019 created a state apprenticeship agency that will now serve as the central hub for certifying and managing apprenticeships here in Alabama.

AOA will now be able to certify not only Registered Apprenticeship Programs but the new Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS). The new IRAPs are for apprenticeships in more non-traditional business sectors such as tech companies or healthcare.

We have taken these five feeder roads and merged them into our “Workforce Superhighway” that ultimately leads the state to the goal of Success Plus, Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to have more than 500,000 credentialed workers in Alabama by 2025.

This new crop of workers and those who are looking for a new direction should be able to effortlessly travel the new “Workforce Super Highway” with easy access and exits through the state’s new portal known as AlabamaWorks! Please see www.alabamaworks.com when you are ready.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of AIDT

Alabama’s workforce superhighway

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed, YHN)

Alabama’s workforce programs have undergone several changes in the past couple years and to say that this has caused some confusion would be a huge understatement!

I liken it to the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act which created the beginnings of the Interstate system that focused on building a system of connected roads that would funnel traffic from smaller roads into safer, more efficient “Super Highways.”

When we look at workforce development in Alabama over the last 50 years, we’ve been a mishmash of programs or smaller roads all leading to the same goal, but having to travel those roads on a wildly divergent path.

In a few words, I’d like to clear up the confusion and untie the knot related to the programs housed within the Alabama Department of Commerce.

443

Commerce has two divisions: Business Development and Workforce Development. In the workforce division, there are five areas of responsibility: AIDT, WIOA, AWC, RWCs and AOA.

AIDT is Alabama’s premier workforce training incentive. We offer job-specific training to new and expanding industries in Alabama and expand job opportunities of its citizens. AIDT does this at no cost to the company or the citizen.

In addition, through the use of our Centers of Excellence, AIDT provides “upskilling” for existing companies in Alabama through in-depth training in robotics and automation at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, Maritime and shipbuilding training at the Maritime Training Center.

The WIOA or Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act is a federal program used to help socially and economically disadvantaged populations and dislocated workers. WIOA funds the One-Stop Career Centers (managed by DOL) and also provides Rapid Response teams to affected plants that are closing.

Their goal is to keep as many workers working and retrain, through financial assistance and scholarships, those workers that need new skills to remain viable employees.

The AWC or Alabama Workforce Council is an advisory council whose main mission is to facilitate the strategic workforce agenda across Alabama to ensure that the goals are achieved. The AWC, made up of business and industry leaders, routinely advise and promote legislative matters to continually improve the workforce system in Alabama.

The RWCs or Regional Workforce Councils (7) focus their attention on a more local level. Each council is made up of business and local leaders from their respective counties and are directed to help identify issues in the workforce and plan strategically for how to overcome any obstacles.

Then there is the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship or AOA, originally created by legislation in 2016 as Apprenticeship Alabama. New legislation in 2019 created a state apprenticeship agency that will now serve as the central hub for certifying and managing apprenticeships here in Alabama.

AOA will now be able to certify not only Registered Apprenticeship Programs but the new Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS). The new IRAPs are for apprenticeships in more non-traditional business sectors such as tech companies or healthcare.

We have taken these five feeder roads and merged them into our “Workforce Superhighway” that ultimately leads the state to the goal of Success Plus, Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to have more than 500,000 credentialed workers in Alabama by 2025.

This new crop of workers and those who are looking for a new direction should be able to effortlessly travel the new “Workforce Super Highway” with easy access and exits through the state’s new portal known as AlabamaWorks! Please see www.alabamaworks.com when you are ready.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of AIDT

Alabama’s workforce superhighway

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed, YHN)

Alabama’s workforce programs have undergone several changes in the past couple years and to say that this has caused some confusion would be a huge understatement!

I liken it to the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act which created the beginnings of the Interstate system that focused on building a system of connected roads that would funnel traffic from smaller roads into safer, more efficient “Super Highways.”

When we look at workforce development in Alabama over the last 50 years, we’ve been a mishmash of programs or smaller roads all leading to the same goal, but having to travel those roads on a wildly divergent path.

In a few words, I’d like to clear up the confusion and untie the knot related to the programs housed within the Alabama Department of Commerce.

443

Commerce has two divisions: Business Development and Workforce Development. In the workforce division, there are five areas of responsibility: AIDT, WIOA, AWC, RWCs and AOA.

AIDT is Alabama’s premier workforce training incentive. We offer job-specific training to new and expanding industries in Alabama and expand job opportunities of its citizens. AIDT does this at no cost to the company or the citizen.

In addition, through the use of our Centers of Excellence, AIDT provides “upskilling” for existing companies in Alabama through in-depth training in robotics and automation at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, Maritime and shipbuilding training at the Maritime Training Center.

The WIOA or Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act is a federal program used to help socially and economically disadvantaged populations and dislocated workers. WIOA funds the One-Stop Career Centers (managed by DOL) and also provides Rapid Response teams to affected plants that are closing.

Their goal is to keep as many workers working and retrain, through financial assistance and scholarships, those workers that need new skills to remain viable employees.

The AWC or Alabama Workforce Council is an advisory council whose main mission is to facilitate the strategic workforce agenda across Alabama to ensure that the goals are achieved. The AWC, made up of business and industry leaders, routinely advise and promote legislative matters to continually improve the workforce system in Alabama.

The RWCs or Regional Workforce Councils (7) focus their attention on a more local level. Each council is made up of business and local leaders from their respective counties and are directed to help identify issues in the workforce and plan strategically for how to overcome any obstacles.

Then there is the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship or AOA, originally created by legislation in 2016 as Apprenticeship Alabama. New legislation in 2019 created a state apprenticeship agency that will now serve as the central hub for certifying and managing apprenticeships here in Alabama.

AOA will now be able to certify not only Registered Apprenticeship Programs but the new Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS). The new IRAPs are for apprenticeships in more non-traditional business sectors such as tech companies or healthcare.

We have taken these five feeder roads and merged them into our “Workforce Superhighway” that ultimately leads the state to the goal of Success Plus, Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to have more than 500,000 credentialed workers in Alabama by 2025.

This new crop of workers and those who are looking for a new direction should be able to effortlessly travel the new “Workforce Super Highway” with easy access and exits through the state’s new portal known as AlabamaWorks! Please see www.alabamaworks.com when you are ready.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of AIDT

Alabama’s workforce superhighway

(AlabamaWorks!/Contributed, YHN)

Alabama’s workforce programs have undergone several changes in the past couple years and to say that this has caused some confusion would be a huge understatement!

I liken it to the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act which created the beginnings of the Interstate system that focused on building a system of connected roads that would funnel traffic from smaller roads into safer, more efficient “Super Highways.”

When we look at workforce development in Alabama over the last 50 years, we’ve been a mishmash of programs or smaller roads all leading to the same goal, but having to travel those roads on a wildly divergent path.

In a few words, I’d like to clear up the confusion and untie the knot related to the programs housed within the Alabama Department of Commerce.

443

Commerce has two divisions: Business Development and Workforce Development. In the workforce division, there are five areas of responsibility: AIDT, WIOA, AWC, RWCs and AOA.

AIDT is Alabama’s premier workforce training incentive. We offer job-specific training to new and expanding industries in Alabama and expand job opportunities of its citizens. AIDT does this at no cost to the company or the citizen.

In addition, through the use of our Centers of Excellence, AIDT provides “upskilling” for existing companies in Alabama through in-depth training in robotics and automation at the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, Maritime and shipbuilding training at the Maritime Training Center.

The WIOA or Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act is a federal program used to help socially and economically disadvantaged populations and dislocated workers. WIOA funds the One-Stop Career Centers (managed by DOL) and also provides Rapid Response teams to affected plants that are closing.

Their goal is to keep as many workers working and retrain, through financial assistance and scholarships, those workers that need new skills to remain viable employees.

The AWC or Alabama Workforce Council is an advisory council whose main mission is to facilitate the strategic workforce agenda across Alabama to ensure that the goals are achieved. The AWC, made up of business and industry leaders, routinely advise and promote legislative matters to continually improve the workforce system in Alabama.

The RWCs or Regional Workforce Councils (7) focus their attention on a more local level. Each council is made up of business and local leaders from their respective counties and are directed to help identify issues in the workforce and plan strategically for how to overcome any obstacles.

Then there is the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship or AOA, originally created by legislation in 2016 as Apprenticeship Alabama. New legislation in 2019 created a state apprenticeship agency that will now serve as the central hub for certifying and managing apprenticeships here in Alabama.

AOA will now be able to certify not only Registered Apprenticeship Programs but the new Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPS). The new IRAPs are for apprenticeships in more non-traditional business sectors such as tech companies or healthcare.

We have taken these five feeder roads and merged them into our “Workforce Superhighway” that ultimately leads the state to the goal of Success Plus, Governor Kay Ivey’s plan to have more than 500,000 credentialed workers in Alabama by 2025.

This new crop of workers and those who are looking for a new direction should be able to effortlessly travel the new “Workforce Super Highway” with easy access and exits through the state’s new portal known as AlabamaWorks! Please see www.alabamaworks.com when you are ready.

Ed Castile is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Divison and Director of AIDT

Workforce training program delivers life skills for Alabama high school students

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Ten years ago, a unique partnership began between Southwire, a participant in the Alabama Workforce Council, and the Florence City School System. Since that time the impact this initiative has had on our students and our school system has been nothing short of phenomenal.

In 2009, Southwire saw a need in our community. Students were dropping out of school. Some were leaving school because they had no direction or guidance, while others were leaving just to get a paycheck for themselves and/or their families. To combat this negative trend, the team at Southwire approached school officials with an idea to implement a program that originated at its facility in Carroll County Georgia.

12 for Life was founded on the principle that if students completed high school and learned productive qualities such as work ethic, teamwork, and effective decision-making skills, then their opportunities for achieving success – whether entering college or going into a career placement – would be maximized.

512

During school, students participate in a soft-skills program, Ready-to-Work, and coursework from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Curriculum. At Southwire, students are paired with a mentor, given job coaching and work an actual four-hour-a-day job. These attributes of the program will enable the participants to gain credentials to be part of the extra 500,000+ highly-skilled workers that Alabama needs by 2025, as identified in the AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The students selected for 12 for Life must be at least 16 years old and be identified as having a need, whether that be monetarily, socially, emotionally or behaviorally. All students in the program are required to attend summer school in order to complete core classes where they can qualify for work shifts during the day.

School counselors gather data related to factors such as free/reduced lunch status, discipline, credit deficiency or declining attendance. Next, the students participate in an interview process to determine interest and four-hour shift eligibility.

Many participants also refer their friends. During any given time, as many as 200 students are placed on the waiting list for the program, which accepts 100 students per year. This creates a solid pipeline that may lead to permanent employment at the company.

While at Southwire, students earn a competitive hourly wage, along with significant monetary bonus opportunities. These reinforcement incentives are extremely effective tools for changing negative behavior patterns and conditioning students to consistently display positive actions. Bonuses can be earned for maintaining an A or a B grade-point average and for achieving perfect attendance during the nine-week grading period.

These incentives have served as catalysts for modifying negative attendance patterns and significantly elevating student performance in all areas.

Of course, the validation of any initiative’s success will always be determined by the results. The 12 for Life participant group averages a reduction of 134 days of absenteeism compared to the previous year prior to entering the program. This means that the group is present in school for 134 more days compared to when they were not in the program.

We have also achieved a tremendous increase in our graduation rate since the start of the program. In 2009, the graduation rate for the Florence City School System was 68%. In 2018, it had risen to 97%. For the seventh consecutive year, participants in 12 for Life have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

These outcomes have also garnered interest from other companies, like Elite Medical and Toyota, to launch similar programs with Florence schools.

By investing in our young people, we all reap the benefits of what they can and will do as productive members of our society. With programs such as 12 for Life, our future and that of our state, will grow and prosper for many years to come.

Dr. Corey J. Behel is the director of Partnerships and Workforce Innovation for Florence City Schools and Marcus Johnson is the Plant Manager of 12 for Life Southwire in the Florence City location.  

To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Behel at cjbehel@florencek12.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com to find training and workforce development initiatives for people of all ages.

Workforce training program delivers life skills for Alabama high school students

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Ten years ago, a unique partnership began between Southwire, a participant in the Alabama Workforce Council, and the Florence City School System. Since that time the impact this initiative has had on our students and our school system has been nothing short of phenomenal.

In 2009, Southwire saw a need in our community. Students were dropping out of school. Some were leaving school because they had no direction or guidance, while others were leaving just to get a paycheck for themselves and/or their families. To combat this negative trend, the team at Southwire approached school officials with an idea to implement a program that originated at its facility in Carroll County Georgia.

12 for Life was founded on the principle that if students completed high school and learned productive qualities such as work ethic, teamwork, and effective decision-making skills, then their opportunities for achieving success – whether entering college or going into a career placement – would be maximized.

512

During school, students participate in a soft-skills program, Ready-to-Work, and coursework from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Curriculum. At Southwire, students are paired with a mentor, given job coaching and work an actual four-hour-a-day job. These attributes of the program will enable the participants to gain credentials to be part of the extra 500,000+ highly-skilled workers that Alabama needs by 2025, as identified in the AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The students selected for 12 for Life must be at least 16 years old and be identified as having a need, whether that be monetarily, socially, emotionally or behaviorally. All students in the program are required to attend summer school in order to complete core classes where they can qualify for work shifts during the day.

School counselors gather data related to factors such as free/reduced lunch status, discipline, credit deficiency or declining attendance. Next, the students participate in an interview process to determine interest and four-hour shift eligibility.

Many participants also refer their friends. During any given time, as many as 200 students are placed on the waiting list for the program, which accepts 100 students per year. This creates a solid pipeline that may lead to permanent employment at the company.

While at Southwire, students earn a competitive hourly wage, along with significant monetary bonus opportunities. These reinforcement incentives are extremely effective tools for changing negative behavior patterns and conditioning students to consistently display positive actions. Bonuses can be earned for maintaining an A or a B grade-point average and for achieving perfect attendance during the nine-week grading period.

These incentives have served as catalysts for modifying negative attendance patterns and significantly elevating student performance in all areas.

Of course, the validation of any initiative’s success will always be determined by the results. The 12 for Life participant group averages a reduction of 134 days of absenteeism compared to the previous year prior to entering the program. This means that the group is present in school for 134 more days compared to when they were not in the program.

We have also achieved a tremendous increase in our graduation rate since the start of the program. In 2009, the graduation rate for the Florence City School System was 68%. In 2018, it had risen to 97%. For the seventh consecutive year, participants in 12 for Life have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

These outcomes have also garnered interest from other companies, like Elite Medical and Toyota, to launch similar programs with Florence schools.

By investing in our young people, we all reap the benefits of what they can and will do as productive members of our society. With programs such as 12 for Life, our future and that of our state, will grow and prosper for many years to come.

Dr. Corey J. Behel is the director of Partnerships and Workforce Innovation for Florence City Schools and Marcus Johnson is the Plant Manager of 12 for Life Southwire in the Florence City location.  

To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Behel at cjbehel@florencek12.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com to find training and workforce development initiatives for people of all ages.

 

Workforce training program delivers life skills for Alabama high school students

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Ten years ago, a unique partnership began between Southwire, a participant in the Alabama Workforce Council, and the Florence City School System. Since that time the impact this initiative has had on our students and our school system has been nothing short of phenomenal.

In 2009, Southwire saw a need in our community. Students were dropping out of school. Some were leaving school because they had no direction or guidance, while others were leaving just to get a paycheck for themselves and/or their families. To combat this negative trend, the team at Southwire approached school officials with an idea to implement a program that originated at its facility in Carroll County Georgia.

12 for Life was founded on the principle that if students completed high school and learned productive qualities such as work ethic, teamwork, and effective decision-making skills, then their opportunities for achieving success – whether entering college or going into a career placement – would be maximized.

512

During school, students participate in a soft-skills program, Ready-to-Work, and coursework from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Curriculum. At Southwire, students are paired with a mentor, given job coaching and work an actual four-hour-a-day job. These attributes of the program will enable the participants to gain credentials to be part of the extra 500,000+ highly-skilled workers that Alabama needs by 2025, as identified in the AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The students selected for 12 for Life must be at least 16 years old and be identified as having a need, whether that be monetarily, socially, emotionally or behaviorally. All students in the program are required to attend summer school in order to complete core classes where they can qualify for work shifts during the day.

School counselors gather data related to factors such as free/reduced lunch status, discipline, credit deficiency or declining attendance. Next, the students participate in an interview process to determine interest and four-hour shift eligibility.

Many participants also refer their friends. During any given time, as many as 200 students are placed on the waiting list for the program, which accepts 100 students per year. This creates a solid pipeline that may lead to permanent employment at the company.

While at Southwire, students earn a competitive hourly wage, along with significant monetary bonus opportunities. These reinforcement incentives are extremely effective tools for changing negative behavior patterns and conditioning students to consistently display positive actions. Bonuses can be earned for maintaining an A or a B grade-point average and for achieving perfect attendance during the nine-week grading period.

These incentives have served as catalysts for modifying negative attendance patterns and significantly elevating student performance in all areas.

Of course, the validation of any initiative’s success will always be determined by the results. The 12 for Life participant group averages a reduction of 134 days of absenteeism compared to the previous year prior to entering the program. This means that the group is present in school for 134 more days compared to when they were not in the program.

We have also achieved a tremendous increase in our graduation rate since the start of the program. In 2009, the graduation rate for the Florence City School System was 68%. In 2018, it had risen to 97%. For the seventh consecutive year, participants in 12 for Life have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

These outcomes have also garnered interest from other companies, like Elite Medical and Toyota, to launch similar programs with Florence schools.

By investing in our young people, we all reap the benefits of what they can and will do as productive members of our society. With programs such as 12 for Life, our future and that of our state, will grow and prosper for many years to come.

Dr. Corey J. Behel is the director of Partnerships and Workforce Innovation for Florence City Schools and Marcus Johnson is the Plant Manager of 12 for Life Southwire in the Florence City location.  

To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Behel at cjbehel@florencek12.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com to find training and workforce development initiatives for people of all ages.

 

Workforce training program delivers life skills for Alabama high school students

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Ten years ago, a unique partnership began between Southwire, a participant in the Alabama Workforce Council, and the Florence City School System. Since that time the impact this initiative has had on our students and our school system has been nothing short of phenomenal.

In 2009, Southwire saw a need in our community. Students were dropping out of school. Some were leaving school because they had no direction or guidance, while others were leaving just to get a paycheck for themselves and/or their families. To combat this negative trend, the team at Southwire approached school officials with an idea to implement a program that originated at its facility in Carroll County Georgia.

12 for Life was founded on the principle that if students completed high school and learned productive qualities such as work ethic, teamwork, and effective decision-making skills, then their opportunities for achieving success – whether entering college or going into a career placement – would be maximized.

512

During school, students participate in a soft-skills program, Ready-to-Work, and coursework from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Curriculum. At Southwire, students are paired with a mentor, given job coaching and work an actual four-hour-a-day job. These attributes of the program will enable the participants to gain credentials to be part of the extra 500,000+ highly-skilled workers that Alabama needs by 2025, as identified in the AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The students selected for 12 for Life must be at least 16 years old and be identified as having a need, whether that be monetarily, socially, emotionally or behaviorally. All students in the program are required to attend summer school in order to complete core classes where they can qualify for work shifts during the day.

School counselors gather data related to factors such as free/reduced lunch status, discipline, credit deficiency or declining attendance. Next, the students participate in an interview process to determine interest and four-hour shift eligibility.

Many participants also refer their friends. During any given time, as many as 200 students are placed on the waiting list for the program, which accepts 100 students per year. This creates a solid pipeline that may lead to permanent employment at the company.

While at Southwire, students earn a competitive hourly wage, along with significant monetary bonus opportunities. These reinforcement incentives are extremely effective tools for changing negative behavior patterns and conditioning students to consistently display positive actions. Bonuses can be earned for maintaining an A or a B grade-point average and for achieving perfect attendance during the nine-week grading period.

These incentives have served as catalysts for modifying negative attendance patterns and significantly elevating student performance in all areas.

Of course, the validation of any initiative’s success will always be determined by the results. The 12 for Life participant group averages a reduction of 134 days of absenteeism compared to the previous year prior to entering the program. This means that the group is present in school for 134 more days compared to when they were not in the program.

We have also achieved a tremendous increase in our graduation rate since the start of the program. In 2009, the graduation rate for the Florence City School System was 68%. In 2018, it had risen to 97%. For the seventh consecutive year, participants in 12 for Life have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

These outcomes have also garnered interest from other companies, like Elite Medical and Toyota, to launch similar programs with Florence schools.

By investing in our young people, we all reap the benefits of what they can and will do as productive members of our society. With programs such as 12 for Life, our future and that of our state, will grow and prosper for many years to come.

Dr. Corey J. Behel is the director of Partnerships and Workforce Innovation for Florence City Schools and Marcus Johnson is the Plant Manager of 12 for Life Southwire in the Florence City location.  

To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Behel at cjbehel@florencek12.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com to find training and workforce development initiatives for people of all ages.

 

Workforce training program delivers life skills for Alabama high school students

(AlabamaWorks! Success Plus/Contributed, YHN)

Ten years ago, a unique partnership began between Southwire, a participant in the Alabama Workforce Council, and the Florence City School System. Since that time the impact this initiative has had on our students and our school system has been nothing short of phenomenal.

In 2009, Southwire saw a need in our community. Students were dropping out of school. Some were leaving school because they had no direction or guidance, while others were leaving just to get a paycheck for themselves and/or their families. To combat this negative trend, the team at Southwire approached school officials with an idea to implement a program that originated at its facility in Carroll County Georgia.

12 for Life was founded on the principle that if students completed high school and learned productive qualities such as work ethic, teamwork, and effective decision-making skills, then their opportunities for achieving success – whether entering college or going into a career placement – would be maximized.

512

During school, students participate in a soft-skills program, Ready-to-Work, and coursework from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Curriculum. At Southwire, students are paired with a mentor, given job coaching and work an actual four-hour-a-day job. These attributes of the program will enable the participants to gain credentials to be part of the extra 500,000+ highly-skilled workers that Alabama needs by 2025, as identified in the AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative.

The students selected for 12 for Life must be at least 16 years old and be identified as having a need, whether that be monetarily, socially, emotionally or behaviorally. All students in the program are required to attend summer school in order to complete core classes where they can qualify for work shifts during the day.

School counselors gather data related to factors such as free/reduced lunch status, discipline, credit deficiency or declining attendance. Next, the students participate in an interview process to determine interest and four-hour shift eligibility.

Many participants also refer their friends. During any given time, as many as 200 students are placed on the waiting list for the program, which accepts 100 students per year. This creates a solid pipeline that may lead to permanent employment at the company.

While at Southwire, students earn a competitive hourly wage, along with significant monetary bonus opportunities. These reinforcement incentives are extremely effective tools for changing negative behavior patterns and conditioning students to consistently display positive actions. Bonuses can be earned for maintaining an A or a B grade-point average and for achieving perfect attendance during the nine-week grading period.

These incentives have served as catalysts for modifying negative attendance patterns and significantly elevating student performance in all areas.

Of course, the validation of any initiative’s success will always be determined by the results. The 12 for Life participant group averages a reduction of 134 days of absenteeism compared to the previous year prior to entering the program. This means that the group is present in school for 134 more days compared to when they were not in the program.

We have also achieved a tremendous increase in our graduation rate since the start of the program. In 2009, the graduation rate for the Florence City School System was 68%. In 2018, it had risen to 97%. For the seventh consecutive year, participants in 12 for Life have achieved a 100% graduation rate.

These outcomes have also garnered interest from other companies, like Elite Medical and Toyota, to launch similar programs with Florence schools.

By investing in our young people, we all reap the benefits of what they can and will do as productive members of our society. With programs such as 12 for Life, our future and that of our state, will grow and prosper for many years to come.

Dr. Corey J. Behel is the director of Partnerships and Workforce Innovation for Florence City Schools and Marcus Johnson is the Plant Manager of 12 for Life Southwire in the Florence City location.  

To learn more about this program, contact Dr. Behel at cjbehel@florencek12.org. You can also visit www.alabamaworks.com to find training and workforce development initiatives for people of all ages.

 

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.