Rapid Skills for Success Training Helps Workforce Shortage

MONTGOMERY – News that Alabama’s unemployment rate has reached a record low can overshadow the fact thousands of jobs are available and employers are looking to hire workers immediately, said Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker.

“The one thing Alabama employers consistently tell us is they are struggling to find qualified workers to fill jobs. There are only 44 available workers for every 100 open jobs in Alabama,” said Chancellor Baker. “We developed a rapid training program in partnership with Alabama business and industry to address this very need and it’s proving to be a great success,” said Chancellor Baker.

That program – Skills for Success – launched 15 months ago. Since then, more than 3,300 Alabamians have received training for jobs at more than 190 Alabama employers. The training is provided at no cost to trainees or companies thanks to support from the Alabama Legislature and Gov. Kay Ivey.

A division of the Alabama Community College System called the Innovation Center develops the courses and customizes the training for jobs that employers say are in high demand.

“We’ve made sure the training is aligned with needs of workers and employers. Employers know best what skills are needed in their industries” said Julie Frizzell, Director of the Innovation Center.

Training is currently available for jobs in construction, trucking, bus driving, food and beverage services, fiber optics installation and meat cutting. New courses are being developed and will soon be available.

The training can be delivered rapidly because part of it is offered online. Once students complete the online portion, they receive hands-on training at one of Alabama’s 24 community and technical colleges or at a work site.

“Skills for Success training, developed through partnership with industry partners, is the most innovative in the nation,” said Chris Stricklin, Chief Technology Officer for Dunn Companies.

“Workforce challenges have been persistent in our industry even before the pandemic,” said Mark Colson, President/CEO of the Alabama Trucking Association. “The Innovation Center offering this new curriculum provides a lot of flexibility for adults to access training on their own time so they can get more behind-the-wheel time.”

Alabamians interested in learning more about Skills for Success training can visit the Innovation Center’s website: https://innovation.accs.edu.