The Wire

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


    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


    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


    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.

4 weeks ago

Alabama-based Apprenticeship Readiness Program graduates first students

(Meg McKinney/Contributed)

Hard work pays off. That was a lesson learned by participants of the Central Alabama Building Trades’ Apprenticeship Readiness Program (ARP) hosted by Jefferson State Community College. The first Alabama-based ARP program had a 92% graduation rate, surpassing national benchmarks and preparing the students for the workforce of the future.

Over an eight-week period, students received hands-on training and educational services, introducing them to union crafts and the construction industry before they select a specific career trade.


North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) sponsors ARPs, which are designed to prepare residents, particularly those from underrepresented communities and transitioning veterans, for registered Building Trade apprenticeship programs. These programs develop plumbers, electricians, ironworkers and other skilled professionals who propel growth in the state.

In celebration of the students’ accomplishment, a graduation ceremony was held in June at Alabama Power corporate headquarters in Birmingham. Participants and their families were in attendance, along with leaders of the local business community and higher education and national union leadership.

NABTU Secretary-Treasurer Brent Booker praised the graduates for their drive and completion of the program.

“What you’ve put into this is what you’ll get out of it. Through the Apprenticeship Readiness Program, you’ve changed your life. You’ve changed the next generation of your family and you’ve changed the economic trajectory of where you’re going. Stay on that track,” Booker said, challenging the graduates.

“We are pleased to have our first graduating class of Birmingham and plan to offer future ARPs in Alabama,” said Brandon Bishop, NABTU Southern representative.

Potential students interested in the next class starting in July should contact Terry Davis, ARP coordinator, at by July 15.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

3 months ago

Apprentice Readiness Program prepares Alabama students for skilled trades

(Alabama NewsCenter/Contributed)

Workforce development officials say that developing a well-trained workforce prepared for current and future jobs is essential for continued growth in Alabama.

To better prepare Alabamians for trade careers, Central Alabama Building Trades began an Apprentice Readiness Program (ARP), providing foundational knowledge and positioning participants for success. Jefferson State Community College is hosting the 10-week program, which began with a full class of 12 students in April.


The North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) sponsors ARPs, designed to prepare local residents, particularly those from underrepresented communities and transitioning veterans, for registered Building Trade apprenticeship programs. These programs produce plumbers, electricians, ironworkers and other skilled professionals that propel growth in the state.

State and local Building Trade Councils administer the programs, partnering with local business, education and community leaders to provide comprehensive pre-apprenticeship training in local communities.

“The Apprentice Readiness Program provides the opportunity for local residents to prepare themselves to compete for career opportunities in the building trades unions, which supports many industries through their specialized construction skills,” said Alabama ARP Coordinator Terry Davis.

Through a pre-apprenticeship, participants receive hands-on training and educational services, exposing them to union crafts and the construction industry before they select a specific career trade. Program administrators aid throughout the application process for Registered Apprenticeship programs.

“Skilled trades are so important for Alabama’s economy today, as well as the economy of the future. Investing in local communities through educational resources like the Apprentice Readiness Program helps develop the highly skilled workforce we need,” said Jeff Peoples, Alabama Power senior vice president of Employee Services and Labor Relations.

“This class mirrors the diversity of the workers in our state and I am excited to see such determined students who want to advance their careers,” said Southern Company Workforce Development Specialist Tom McNeal.

Potential students who want to learn more about future offerings of the program should contact Terry Davis at

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)