Ag, business leaders promote training

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 24, 2015

By William J. Canary and Jimmy Parnell

The Business Council of Alabama and the Alabama Farmers Federation are teaming up to encourage support for the new Career-Technical Dual Enrollment Program with tax credits for scholarships for eligible high school students who enroll in college-level career-tech courses at Alabama community colleges.

The benefits include well-trained employees for business, agribusiness, agri-science, manufacturing, production, automotive assembly, mechanical production, and other highly skilled vocations. While contributions to two-year colleges have been tax deductible, for the first time contributions are also eligible for a tax credit in the calendar year of the donation.

The BCA and ALFA support the Alabama Future Workforce Initiative career-technical dual-enrollment program that provides an opportunity for high school students to earn both high school and college credits for approved courses at 23 Alabama community colleges.

Donations support scholarships for tuition, fees, books, and supplies. It’s an excellent way for business to help Alabama’s future workforce get a head start on a skilled career and contribute to an employer’s success.

Students can enroll in nearly 100 high-wage, high-demand programs such as manufacturing, welding, allied health, diesel mechanics, construction, aviation maintenance, advanced manufacturing technology, and industrial engineering, skilled occupations that are useful on the farm and in manufacturing, production, and service industries.

This year the Legislature appropriated $10.2 million for dual enrollment scholarships for students who attend public, private, parochial or church schools, and home schools.

But this is the first year that businesses and individuals have been able to add to the appropriation with donations. Business and personal contributions can be earmarked for a program at eligible two-year schools through the Alabama Community College System. Contributions eligible for a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the donation.

What better way to help create a skilled employee and help Alabama’s standard of living by donating to the career-tech, dual-enrollment program through the Alabama Community College System.

For more information click here.

William J. Canary is president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.

Jimmy Parnell is president of the Alabama Farmers Federation.