3 years ago

EXCLUSIVE: The complete Bentley-Mason affair audio recordings and transcripts

Then-First Lady Dianne Bentley, suspicious that her husband, Governor Robert Bentley, was having an affair with his senior advisor, Rebekah Mason, on multiple occasions pressed “record” on her cell phone, left the room, and captured the governor having intimate conversations with his mistress.

Included in those recordings, which were obtained by Yellowhammer News, is overwhelming evidence that Governor Bentley and Mrs. Mason had an intense emotional and — based on their discussion of past events — physical relationship with each other.

Governor Bentley has apologized for making “inappropriate” comments to Mrs. Mason, but has denied their relationship was physical.

The complete audio recordings and transcripts can be found below.

BEACH, BREASTS AND BOXER SHORTS



(Video above: Audio recording of conversation between Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason)

Well, we just got home and Dianne’s going for a walk on the beach, so that worked out perfect.

I’ll be able to talk to you, just for a few minutes.

It’s beautiful, a beautiful day — cold. It’s cold, though. It is here, the wind’s blowing.

Hey, stay there for just a minute, I’m fixing’ to come up there and sit on the back porch with you. Can I sit by you, and can you put your head on my shoulder? I’ll put my arm around you.

What’s songs have you been listening to?

Well, I was so afraid — this just worked out perfect — because I was so afraid I just wasn’t gon’ have a chance to talk to you…

Well, I’m sorry, baby. You know, it’s just — you know how it is. I know. We do. I do and you do. It’s just — we do. We really work hard, baby, we really do. Hey, I love you. I know you do. Hey, listen, sweetheart, I want you to have a good time, ok?

Look, baby, you’ve been getting up early for me for a long time.

(Laughs)

Bless your heart.

I love when you come to see me. You know, I’ve been thinking about — I’ve been thinking about, I think I am going to rearrange the office if Wanda retires. She’s not gon’ retire, she’s going to work part time, but I think that would be a good time to do it.

(…)

I don’t want ‘em right there. Honestly, I really don’t. And it doesn’t have anything to do with you and me — well, part of it does — but really and truly I don’t think somebody needs to be right there listening to every word that is said in that office; I just really don’t.

(…)

What, baby?

I do you, too, baby. I do, Rebekah. I just, I miss you. I wish I was with you right now. You know, it is, it is scary. I almost… I kinda, do you just start worrying about us just a little bit?

(…)

You know the other thing, too, baby, we are so much alike. I know, we are. We are.

(…)

Well, I love you, and I do. You know, I worry about sometimes I love you so much, I worry about loving you so much. I do. I do. You know, I feel like, all the time I’m thinking, “How can I contact her? How can I call her? How can I text her? How can I be in contact with her? How can we do this?”

(…)

Constantly.

I know that.

I know.

Well, we do. You know, it’s just, a while ago I text you and I said, “I’m sorry I haven’t been able to call,” I said something along the lines of, “How much time,” or, something like, “I’m sorry I’ve not had…” It went to Zach.

Well, no, he said, he text me back. He said, “Did you get the videos,” and he said, “You sent it to the wrong person, did you get the videos?” And I text him back, I said, “Yea I did, Zach.” I said, “Thanks.” I said, “I didn’t mean to send this to you, I had some people I needed to call.” So, it was fine… He couldn’t tell who I was sending it to. And it didn’t say, “Hey, baby, I love you so much and I’d like to spend the rest of my life with you…”

(laughing)

You’d kiss me? I love that. You know I do love that. You know what? When I stand behind you and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands on you and pull you in real close. Hey, I love that, too.

(…)

Put my hands under your shirt.

(laughing)

That did you in?

Oh, babe. I know. I’m thinking about that right now, so I better quit.

You were thinking about (it)? Yea, I could tell you were thinking about it last night.

I changed the subject, didn’t I?

(…)

I know, babe. It’s ok. Everything’s gon’ be fine. We’re gon’ be alright this week. I know, I know, I know. I know it is. I know.

Hey, I love you. I love touching you. I do. Hey, I do, I do love putting my hands (inaudible) and just pulling you in real tight. I do, I do, I do enjoy that.

(…)

But, baby, let me tell you what we’re gonna have to do, we’re gon’ have to start locking the door. If we’re gonna do what we did the other day we’re gonna have to start locking the door.

You know what, it is kinda scary. Somebody open that door? Mmm.

(…)

It is a beautiful day… It is. It’s a little cool down here because the wind’s blowing. I mean, it is a beautiful day.

(…)

Hey, let me call you and let me look at you. Can I? Hey, I’ve got about five minutes, ok? Ok, I’m gon’ hang up. Alright. Bye.

(FaceTime ringing sound)

Bentley: Where are you? Oh, there you are.

Mason: I’m right here!

Bentley: Hey!

Mason: Can you see me?

Bentley: I can, I can. Can you see me?

Mason: (inaudible)

Bentley: Well, it’s your favorite shirt.

Mason: (inaudible)

Bentley: Hey, you look beautiful.

Mason: (Giggles) (Inaudible)

Bentley: Hey, listen, listen to me. Take your earring off and let me kiss your ear.

Mason: (Giggles) (Inaudible)

Bentley: Oooh shoot! Let me kiss that left ear, ok? Can I whisper something in that ear?

Mason: Here you go (inaudible)

Bentley: Hey, I love you. Hey, you look great.

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: Hey, it is. Do you want to see something that’s pretty?

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: It is, isn’t it?

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: I wish I could hold you real tight right now.

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: I think you look beautiful right now. Our phone is breaking up, isn’t it?

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: I lost you. Now I’ve got you back! I got you back. I got you back.

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: I did. I did. It’s good. They came this morning, fact. See, I thought I was gon’ stay here this afternoon and wait on them. But they came this morning. Bless his heart, this little boy from (Elrod?)

Her: (Inaudible)

Bentley: Yea, I know. He came this morning before I had my clothes on.

Mason: (Inaudible)

Him: He just got to see my boxer shorts. No. Hey, you’ve seen those. Listen, he didn’t see my boxer shorts. I did actually put my pants on before I went to the door.

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: Matthew and Katie and Riley are coming.

Mason: (Inaudible)

Bentley: Hey, I’m gon’ call you back on the phone, ok?

Mason: (Inaudible)

(Back to cell phone)

Hey baby. Yea, they’re coming tonight.

I know, bless her heart, I haven’t seen little Riley but three times since she was born. So I’m looking forward to seeing her. I think they’re gon’ stay ’til Monday. Matthew’s gon’ help me put the beds and stuff together in the new house. So we’ll spend a little time together.

You can text me any time you want to. We may not be able to talk tomorrow, but who knows?

I probably will. But I’ll be thinking of something.

Yea. You could feel my hand. Uhhh… What’s that song? “The magic moment.” Ohhh (inaudible).

I know. I know, I know.

Well, is it, is it bothering you?

Ok. Ok.

Mmm. Hey, sweetheart (inaudible)… I do. I know, we have a good time together. We do.

Baby, our conversation is fixin’ to come to an end.

Well, I’m talking about in the next three or four minutes. But before it does, please have a good time. And listen, don’t worry, we will be in contact, ok?

It is. It really is right now. Listen, Matthew and Katie are gon’ be here. This is gon’ be a good weekend. I mean, it’s really been good. It’s been good. So you just — everything’s fine. And, anyways. One more time, let me tell you, I love you, baby. Ok? I do. I love you, sweetheart. And have a good time and just think about, if you’re thinking of me, you know that I’m thinking of you, ok? Bye, bye.

Well, I’m gon’ have to go. I love you, baby. I do love you. We’ll stay in contact, ok? Alright, bye, bye, sweetheart.

LOVER’S QUARREL



(Video above: Audio of a conversation between Gov. Robert Bentley and Rebekah Mason)

Hey, baby. I have been surrounded by people all day long. And then I’ve been called by eight million folks from Montgomery. I get texts from everybody in the world from Montgomery. And you know what? They said, “I sure do hope you’re having a good time at the beach.” And I started to say, “Y’all are crazy as hell,” too.

You know, I love you.

I’m sorry.

How you doin’?

No, I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about Blaine calls me fifteen times, and Bill O’Conner calls me. And we’ve gone all over the whole county trying to find furniture. And I ain’t paying $1,500 for a piece of furniture, you know? Well, Dianne’s not trying to do that anyway.

And y’all go to the play in a few minutes?

(inaudible)

That’s why I’m stressing out ‘cause everybody’s around and I’ve had security guards everywhere I’m going… (inaudible)

You’ve got folks near you?

Well, I’m sorry, baby… I’m just going through the frustration that I’ve had all day long.

(Inaudible)

No, I’m not mad at you, I’m just… Well, sweetheart, it’s not your fault. It’d be this way and it doesn’t have anything to do with you and I texting. This is this life.

(…)

Anyway, y’all had a good day? Have you had a good day?

Sweetheart, you seem mad. You miss me?

I told you it was not you, ok?

Well, I have had a million folks calling me. It’s just amazing. When I leave it’s like, “No, I know you’re on vacation, but (inaudible).”

Hey, I love you. And I miss you.

Did you buy some pretty stuff?

What’s the matter, baby?

Are you having one of your down times?

I’m sorry. Baby, hey listen, sweetheart, don’t get mad at me.

(…)

I know, you don’t know when you can text me, when you can call me. I know that. I know. I know that, sweetheart…

Ok. Ok, I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Baby, it’s not your fault. I am…

You can do it…

I know, sweetheart. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please, baby, don’t. Just don’t. Listen, baby, I know. I know.

I thought we had a lot of good contact today.

(…)

Look, sweetheart… You do the best you can, and I’m doing the best I can, ok? I really am. I really am. Look, I have to fight for everything (inaudible), ok? I mean, I really… Baby, let me tell you, I’m looking right now at a text from Wanda that says, from Pam Chestnut, “Can Cary and Franklin have at least an hour following staff meeting on Monday morning? That would be a great time to get bills signed and returned. We also need to schedule some time Tuesday as well, just in case.” And you know what I’m thinking? I’m thinking, “That time isn’t your time, that’s the time I want to spend with Rebekah, ok?” You know, baby, so…

(…)

I’m sorry.

(…)

You need to tell me when you’re going and coming back. I know what you’re saying. I do… Baby, I do care. I wanted to know. See that’s why I didn’t text you last night. I honestly thought that you were at the play last night. That’s why I didn’t text you, ok?

Well, but I appreciate you (inaudible). What time y’all leaving? You leaving at 6 o’clock? You gotta leave. Ok, baby, I know you gotta go. Please, listen, Rebekah. Listen to me, ok? I love you. I go through a lot and you go through a lot. We both go to a lot of trouble just trying to be together.

And, sweetheart. Listen to me. I love you. I’m telling you I do. Alright?

But I love you.

(inaudible)

Did that picture bother you?

I’m sorry.

Well, baby, we have to go on with life. If we don’t then things are gon’ fall apart, ok?

(…)

No, you can feel any way you want about it and I understand that.

(…)

Baby, I love you, ok? I love you. And I know, baby, we’re in a difficult situation, ok? And unless I make things as normal as possible here, it’s gon’ be hell, ok?

(…)

Please don’t do that. Baby, just don’t…

(…)

It hurts.

(…)

What can I do? You get through at what time tonight, 9? Our time? Ok.

Can I just text you then tonight (inaudible). Ok. I will.

Listen, have a good time tonight, ok? I’m sorry. Can I tell you that I love you and you believe it? I do. I’m telling you I do, baby. I am, sweetheart, please, I’m just doing the best I can, ok?

Ok, sweetheart. Alright you’ve got to go, ok? (Inaudible).

I’ll text you tonight, ok? I promise.

Baby, I want to.

Baby, I, Rebekah, have I ever said (inaudible). I told you I loved you because I’ve loved you forever… This is not something new, I’ve loved you forever. I’ve loved you for many, many years. I’ve loved you for, I know, four. And I love you more now today than (inaudible). And I miss you. And I miss you. And I wish you were here with me right now, ok? And I wish I could hold you and I wish I could kiss you and I wish, you know, I wish that — I do.

You’ve gotta go now. They’re gon’ wonder where you are. Alright. You have a good time now tonight, and I’ll text you after a while. Nine o’clock our time? You’ll get it when you get back. Ok. Ok. I love you. Alright, sweetheart. You have a good time tonight.

You have a good time and I’ll talk to you later, ok? Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk to you. Ok. I love you.

4 hours ago

Why go to college?

More than three million students will begin college this year, many pursuing degrees needed for high paying jobs. Amazingly, bachelor’s degrees open economic doors despite little evidence of significant learning in college. How can students who retain so little knowledge make so much money?

A college degree can identify people who employers want to hire. A recent book by George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan provocatively titled The Case Against Education argues that this signaling explains much of the college earnings premium.

The college earnings premium is real. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 college grads earned 64% more than high school grads who never attended college, and 39% more than associate’s degree holders. College grads are also less likely to be unemployed, with a 2.2% unemployment rate, versus 4.1% for high school grads. The earnings and unemployment differentials have both persisted for years.

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Businesses require bachelor’s degrees for many jobs. Every time a business chooses college grads, they pay more. Profit-hungry businesses should not hire more expensive workers unless they create more value.

Economics offers two theories for education’s value. The first, called human capital, contends that learning makes workers more productive. In the human capital story, the college curriculum must be directly valuable to employers. High paying degrees, like economics, must teach skills businesses value more.

Alternatively, college degrees might allow students to signal characteristics which businesses desire; the content of degrees may be largely irrelevant. Life offers many examples of signaling. Romance and courting involve numerous signals, like engagement rings. A diamond is of little practical value, but signals the willingness to make a life-long commitment.

What does college signal? Professor Caplan argues three main traits: intelligence, conscientiousness, and conformity. Businesses desire workers who are smart, able to learn challenging material, and willing to follow rules. Conformity is probably becoming more important, as businesses can no longer afford workers who tell off-color jokes or express racial, religious or sexual intolerance.

Intelligence and ability to learn are valuable because the details of jobs differ greatly across employers. Employers must train workers to do a job their way. Employees must be willing to turn off their cell phones and pay attention.

How important is human capital versus signaling? Discussions of higher education policy generally presume human capital theory. Yet Professor Caplan contends that the college premium is about 80% signaling and 20% human capital. The content of education clearly has some relevance; engineering firms will not hire inexpensive social work majors over expensive engineers because they prefer graduates already familiar with engineering.

Professor Caplan presents a wealth of statistical evidence in support of signaling. Yet several puzzles demonstrate signaling’s importance. Perhaps most telling is the one mentioned above, the lack of evidence on long-term learning. Knowledge forgotten – of Shakespeare, calculus, or supply and demand – cannot be generating productivity. Furthermore, a student who is one or two classes short of a degree has acquired perhaps 95 percent of a degree’s human capital, but will face a significant salary penalty. And attending classes allows acquisition of knowledge without earning college credit, and has essentially no market value.

Signaling creates value for the economy even if course content is largely irrelevant. College helps employers find the workers they want. Yes, four years of college is costly, but everyone wants high paying jobs and would likely lie during an interview. Whether higher education provides efficient signaling depends on whether an alternative can separate high and low-quality potential workers at a lower cost.

The potential exists for excessive and wasteful signaling. Completing high school used to separate one from the crowd. Arguably we now use college degrees as a signal instead of high school diplomas. Credential inflation is potentially costly.

For parents of college students, signaling offers some solace. Even if Sally or Johnny seem to forget everything after the semester ends, passing forgettable classes can readily signal employers their willingness to learn a boring job.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

5 hours ago

VIDEO: Gun control, tolls are just a regional concern, racist Alabama Democrats and more on Guerrilla Politics …

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Will a serious discussion about “gun control” take place, or will it be more politicking by both sides?

— Will toll talk spread beyond the citizens of Mobile and Baldwin Counties?

— Why are Alabama Democrats calling each other racist?

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Jackson and Burke are joined by U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) to discuss gun control, tolls, debt and the potential recession.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” where he argues that American institutions should put Americans first.

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.

6 hours ago

Alabama’s Margaret Renkl, writer for New York Times, launches first book, ‘Late Migrations’

A couple of years ago, Alabama native Margaret Renkl, who had made a career out of writing and editing, was stressed. Really stressed.

Living in Nashville, she had moved her mother up from Birmingham to help take care of her in her final years.

“After my mom died, and my husband’s parents had moved up here, too, it really was unbearable,” she says. “I was dealing with grief and caregiving, and two of my three children were still living at home. It was a lot.”

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Then, at the Southern Festival of Books, Renkl ran into an editor from The New York Times. The newspaper was starting a new series, The End, about end-of-life issues, and he urged her to write about her experience.

“I ended up working, first thing in the morning, 15 minutes a day, on an essay about my mother’s death and my mother-in-law dying, and at the end of the month, I sent it in, and they bought it,” Renkl says. “I did another piece, and they bought that, also. By that time, I was feeling a lot more confident.”

Her mother-in-law had also passed away, so Renkl had a bit more time.

“I was still sorting through these issues about grief, but I didn’t think of them as a book,” she says.

But they were a book, at least the beginnings of one, and last month Renkl released “Late Migrations,” a book of essays about two of Renkl’s passions – her family and the natural world.

The book has received rave reviews from celebrities and bibliophiles alike. Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine says Renkl “guides us through a South lush with bluebirds, pecan orchards and glasses of whiskey shared at dusk in this collection of prose in poetry-size bits.” Author Ann Patchett says the book has the makings of “an American classic … beautifully written, masterfully structured and brimming with insight into the natural world.” Actress Reese Witherspoon says Renkl “is the most beautiful writer. I love this book.” “Late Migrations” has been featured on NPR and in Garden & Gun and People magazines, among others.

It’s all a bit surprising to Renkl, who graduated from Auburn University with a degree in English in 1984 and earned her master’s at the University of South Carolina.

“The structure is unusual, and the subject is often sad,” Renkl says. “It’s a meditation on grief some ways, and I think we as a culture aren’t comfortable talking about death and grief. I’ve been surprised and heartened by the response.”

Renkl was born in Andalusia, but she moved to Birmingham while in first grade.

“The world I lived in in Birmingham was completely different from the world I lived in heretofore,” she says. “We went back to lower Alabama all the time, because my grandparents still lived there. That was pretty foundational for the way I think of my growing-up years.”

Renkl’s father was in real estate development, building apartment complexes, and she and her family would move from site to site, wherever her father’s company was building a complex.

“It’s a little ironic that I spent so much time in the outdoors, because we were living in the woods that my father’s company was tearing down,” says Renkl, who graduated from Homewood High School.

She and her brother, Billy, an artist who provided illustrations for “Late Migrations,” forged their collaboration early on with childhood books of poetry and illustrations. Later, Billy would be her art director when she was editor of her high school newspaper and also when she was editor of the Circle literary magazine at Auburn.

After graduate school, Renkl taught high school, but in her 10th year of teaching, she found herself on bed rest while pregnant with her second child, and since she couldn’t teach, she had to “find a way to make some money.”

She launched a 12-year freelancing career with an essay for Glamour magazine and later edited Chapter 16, an online journal for Humanities Tennessee, for 10 years.

After that, The New York Times, a publication she had failed to sell freelance essays to after several tries, came calling, and she began writing for The End. The Times soon hired her to write a regular monthly column, and six months later, they asked her to write weekly.

“I asked for my first contract to be six months instead of a year, because I wasn’t completely convinced I could come up with something every week,” Renkl says. “Then I signed a contract for a year, then another for a year. I’m pretty happy with the arrangement.”

As a regular writer for The Times, Renkl writes about “flora, fauna, politics and culture in the American South,” according to the newspaper. She has written about her familyanimals and politics.

In the meantime, Renkl was continuing to write essays about her family – the grief of losing her mother, mother-in-law and, earlier, her father – and, thanks to her disdain for the 2016 political season and its aftermath, nature. “I started writing a little nature blog that had pretty much zero audience, but writing about the natural world reminded me that what was happening in the political arena was only temporary,” she says. “At some point, the other women in my writer’s group said, ‘You know this is a book, right? … This is a book about longing and loss in many different contexts.’”

Milkweed Editions agreed and worked with Renkl on “Late Migrations,” which includes memoir-type essays along with essays on nature and drawings by her brother.

“This was his family, too,” Renkl says. “So it seemed natural to me to have my story of my family include work by him. … Also, Billy’s artwork is very often about birds and insects and stars and flowers and leaves.”

Initially, Renkl paired her work with pieces her brother had already created, but he ended up creating 20 original pieces for “Late Migrations.”

“As I was reading the early drafts of the book, I came to realize that I wanted to use my voice to amplify the beautiful connections between Margaret’s backyard observations of nature and her stories about our family,” Billy Renkl says. “Eventually, I decided to aim for a carefully calibrated relationship between images that seemed to reference the history of wildlife identification guidebooks and family photo albums – images that were equal parts objective observation and idiosyncratic family myth.”

Though some have referred to “Late Migrations” as a memoir, Renkl disagrees.

“To me, that means comprehensive and complete,” she says. “These essays make no pretense to be comprehensive. I’m not telling the story of my life. I consider it primarily to be a meditation on loss and human life and in the natural world. I took great comfort, in writing both sets of essays, in seeing how what happens to us in human life is being played out all around in the natural world.”

Renkl says her parents would have loved “Late Migrations.”

“They were so proud of me, and the book is a love letter to them,” she says. “It’s a love letter to family life, to the natural world. It’s a praise song. They would have loved that.”

Margaret Renkl will be signing “Late Migrations” on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. at Pebble Hill in Auburn; and Read Herring books, 105 S. Court St. in Montgomery, on Sept. 5. You can find her book tour schedule here.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

8 hours ago

Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing receives $3.5M Nurse Practitioner Residency Grant

Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing will receive $3.5 million over four years to place nurse practitioner graduates in rural, underserved areas for primary-care residency. The grant is the largest in Samford University’s history.

The Advanced Nursing Education – Nurse Practitioner Residency Program Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration is designed to prepare new nurse practitioners to deliver high-quality primary care in community-based settings. During the year-long program, nurse practitioner residents will complete academic coursework and clinical hours in underserved population locations.

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“For nearly 100 years, Ida Moffett School of Nursing has prepared well-equipped, compassionate nurses to serve the underserved,” said Nena Sanders, vice provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences and nursing school dean. “This grant affords us the opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skill sets of our graduates and intentionally place caring, competent nurse practitioners where the needs are greatest.”

The grant will facilitate the launch of the first residency program housed within the nursing school.

The program will focus on developing new family nurse practitioners with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to improve the quality and safety of rural health care systems. According to professor and grant manager Stephanie Wynn, the program will place a special priority on addressing value-based care, telehealth, obesity and mental health issues.

“This residency program will distinctively position new nurse practitioners to face the complexities which occur when providing care to rural and underserved populations,” said Wynn. “Ninety-eight percent of Alabama’s counties are designated, either all or in part, as a Medically Underserved Area or a Health Professional Shortage Area. This program will transform communities by increasing the quality and quantity of primary-care providers who are trained to provide innovative, compassionate care.”

Fifty-five of Alabama’s 67 counties are considered rural, and only two of those 55 are considered to have the minimum number of providers available. According to Wynn, the state’s population-per-physician ratio well exceeds 3,000 to 1 in many rural areas. “Nearly 44% of Alabama’s population is living in rural areas, yet 70% of primary care physicians practice within Alabama’s five largest counties,” said Wynn. “Health care must shift to better meet the needs of today’s population.”

During their rotations, residents will receive training in vital telehealth technology reducing accessibility issues for patients who would otherwise need to travel long distances to seek care. “By providing residents with telehealth training, rural communities will gain direct access to specialists in the urban areas,” said Jill Cunningham, nurse practitioner department chair.

Cunningham and Wynn are leading the residency and curriculum development with the support of an interprofessional team of educators. The first cohort of 10 nurse practitioners will begin their rotations July 1, 2020.

“More than 20 years ago we launched a nurse practitioner program to fill a need within the health care system, and that vision hasn’t changed,” said Jane Martin, senior associate dean for Ida Moffett School of Nursing. “We are producing well-trained, compassionate nurse practitioners who are breaking health care accessibility barriers.”

Ida Moffett School of Nursing offers nurse practitioner coursework that is aligned with the needs of today’s heath care environment. Students choose from specialty areas such as family, emergency or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and entry points are available for associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree holders. Advanced practice registered nurse, nurse practitioner certificates are also available.
(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

9 hours ago

Josh Laney to head Alabama Office of Apprenticeship as skills program expands

MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT, announced that Josh Laney has been named director of the newly established Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA) as the state moves to expand a program that elevates the skill levels of workers.In his new role, Laney will partner with industries and education providers across the state to develop and expand traditional and industry-recognized apprenticeships for youth and adults.  He will also lead the AOA’s support of larger workforce development infrastructure for Alabama to identify and promote the recognition and use of valuable credentials.

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Laney previously served as senior director for Workforce Development at the Alabama State Department of Education, where he supported local school system efforts to align the career technical training initiatives with workforce needs.

With over 20 years of experience in education, Laney’s career path has taken him from the classroom to administrative leadership in junior high and high school settings before assuming the role of career technical director for Phenix City Schools in 2011.

Under Laney’s leadership, the AOA will expand Alabama’s registered apprenticeship opportunities, resulting in additional skilled employees in the workforce and increased economic activity for Alabama.

“The Alabama Office of Apprenticeship is a game changer. Having someone like Josh who is passionate about education and dedicated to the growth and preparedness of our workforce is a home run for Alabama,” said Castile, who heads Commerce’s Workforce Development Division.

MEETING DEMANDS

The establishment of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship represents another step in Alabama’s strategic efforts to develop a comprehensive workforce system. Apprenticeship programs allow the state to meet the current and future demands of business and industry, while also creating greater opportunities for Alabamians.

Registered apprenticeship programs are innovative work-based learning opportunities that rely on business involvement and provide on-the-job training while also providing wages from employers during training.

Apprenticeship sponsors develop highly skilled employees, while reducing turnover rates and increasing productivity.

Alabama has five industry focused sectors for apprenticeships:  Healthcare, Construction/Carpentry, Information Technology, Distribution/Transportation & Logistics and Advance Manufacturing.

“The success of Apprenticeship Alabama over the last few years made us realize that we needed to go bigger,” Castile said. “With Josh’s extensive background in workforce development and education it was natural fit for agency.”

Laney’s appointment follows the passage of Senate Bill 295, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, which not only established the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship but also expanded the Apprenticeship Alabama Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,250.

The legislation also increased the number of apprentices one employer may claim from five to 10, as well as the tax credit cap from $3 million to $7.5 million, and established the Alabama Apprenticeship Council.

The AOA will serve as the registration agency for all registered apprenticeships in the state of Alabama.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)