Governor Bentley announces $200,000 to expand job-training programs at Calhoun Community College

MONTGOMERY— Calhoun Community College will expand two programs that prepare north Alabama students for in-demand careers with the help of grants totaling $200,000 announced by Gov. Robert Bentley.

            The Appalachian Regional Commission grants will help upgrade programs to train students for careers in advanced manufacturing technology and as line workers for utility companies. Based in Tanner, Calhoun Community College serves students primarily from Lawrence, Limestone, Madison and Morgan counties.

            “By studying to acquire a skill or learn a trade, students set themselves up for successful careers,” Bentley said. “I am pleased to support the expansion of these training programs that help Alabamians obtain jobs in growing and in-demand industries.”    

            For the advanced manufacturing training program, the school will purchase new equipment to teach robotics and other skills needed by potential employers. The equipment will be set up to simulate a real-world manufacturing floor. The college also will aim to double the number of companies offering apprenticeships to students from five to 10.  School officials expect 100 students to enroll in the expanded program. Matching funds of $149,974 will supplement the grant.

            The college will obtain updated training and safety equipment for its line-worker training program. The program will expand to accommodate about 50 students per year, up from the current capacity of 32, to meet demand of area utility companies. Matching funds of $155,514 have been committed to the program.

            Congress established the ARC in 1965 as a supplemental grant program to raise the standard of living, improve the quality of life and promote economic development in the Appalachian mountain region. The region includes 37 Alabama counties.

            The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama along with a wide range of other programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.

            Bentley notified James Klauber, president of Calhoun Community College, that the grants had been approved.