There is a threat to the Alabama economy. It is a decline in workforce employees with an increasing demand in open positions.
While Alabama is proud to maintain growing businesses and one of the lowest unemployment rates, it puts pressure on our states’ need for skilled, educated workers. The University of North Alabama is meeting that need by positioning itself as Alabama’s Workforce Development University.
University of North Alabama President Dr. Ken Kitts says, “Preparation of career-ready graduates to meet the economic needs of Alabama and the surrounding region is central to the mission of the University of North Alabama. As Alabama transitions from a traditional industrial to a knowledge-based economy, UNA is focused on delivering a well-trained workforce of the highest possible quality to business and industry. Our programs produce employable and in-demand graduates that increase the level of postsecondary educational attainment in the state.”
UNA graduates work at a variety of notable companies ranging from Amazon and NASA, to regional hospitals and local insurance agencies. Through 50+ accredited major, minor, certificate and graduate programs offered, students are given access to professional development and workforce training through hands-on practices in their specific industries.
Engineering student, Andrew, says he chose UNA after learning about the program because of its exact preparation for the jobs he wants to do. Not only are there an array of internship and other experiential learning opportunities awarded to UNA students, but students also have direct access to their professors and the hometown environment gives each student the individual attention they need to succeed.
Talk about going the extra mile. UNA also has incorporated an innovative program where students can earn micro-credentials. A micro-credential is a small program that allows students to gain relevant skills that are needed in today’s workforce.
All micro-credentials offered at UNA are vetted to make sure they align with current workforce demands. Examples of micro-credentials include Instructional Technology and Design, Professional Accounting, Healthcare Simulation, and Spanish for the Clinical Encounter that enables healthcare professionals to become proficient in just 8 weeks.
Alabama’s workforce is in need of innovation if employers are going to become trained for the vacant jobs that move our state forward, and UNA is going the extra mile to ensure its graduates are qualified and given the competitive edge in a new era of business.