Alabama business, education and workforce training leaders made a major announcement Tuesday at the RSA Center for Commerce in Montgomery about the state’s workforce development system.
Together they will transform the state’s workforce development efforts into one unified system, AlabamaWorks, that will seamlessly link employers looking for skilled workers with Alabamians seeking jobs or job training.
“The Alabama Workforce Council and our partners are focused on helping transform the state’s workforce system to dramatically improve the livelihoods for millions of Alabama families for years to come,” said Zeke Smith, executive vice president at Alabama Power Co. and chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council (AWC). “We are doing that today by providing a tool to match the needs of employers with job seekers across our state to grow our economy and raise the standard of living for Alabamians.”
Tuesday’s announcement marked a major milestone in the unification of Alabama’s workforce system, bringing together key components of the K-12 and two-year college systems, state workforce training and placement services, and industry.
“We didn’t want to settle for a mere touch-up. We called for a new identity, a new brand – recognizable, descriptive and effective,” George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama and vice chairman of the AWC remarked. “And we needed everyone involved in workforce development – state agencies, education and the business sector – all pulling together in the same direction.”
AlabamaWorks will more easily connect businesses with job seekers and help prepare workers by linking them to career and job training opportunities. Over the course of the next year, each of the state’s seven newly restructured Regional Workforce Councils will integrate its services into the new AlabamaWorks brand.
Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Department of Commerce and executive director of Alabama Industrial Development and Training (AIDT), said the backbone of AlabamaWorks will be the seven local Regional Workforce Councils, local Alabama Career Centers and the new AlabamaWorks website.
“Our system is driven by local businesses and will therefore be responsive to the current and future needs of businesses in Alabama,” Castile explained. “Each Regional Workforce Council will be able to focus on the business sectors within its geographical area.”
AlabamaWorks is the result of an ambitious, business-driven initiative and partnership between leaders in the private and public sectors.
“Today is about a lot more than a new brand and new logo,” added Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “It’s about taking Alabama to the national forefront of workforce development so that every person in Alabama who wants to find a job can, and so that every employer that comes to Alabama will be able to hire the skilled workers it needs. We truly believe that we are building a system that will soon become a national model.”