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Workforce council makes strides in job readiness

Despite the unprecedented economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama is making progress on achieving Governor Kay Ivey’s goal of adding 500,000 credentialed workers to the state’s workforce by 2025, according to the Alabama Workforce Council’s annual report released this week.

“Alabama is a national leader in workforce development. We will continue to provide innovative educational and training opportunities to help Alabamians enter in-demand career pathways for every stage of life,” said Governor Kay Ivey after receiving the annual report.

AWC Chairman Tim McCartney and Vice Chair Sandra Koblas noted in a letter accompanying the report, “Many of Alabama’s industries have proven resilient during the pandemic, and the Alabama Workforce Council (AWC) will continue to collaborate with our education and workforce stakeholders to align the education and training programs that will prepare Alabamians for the post-COVID-19 labor market.”

To help reach the goal of adding credentialed workers, the AWC will launch two new workforce development tools in 2021: ACCET, the Alabama College and Career Exploration Tool, and ATLAS, the Alabama Terminal on Linking and Analyzing Statistics on Career Pathways. The report details much of the foundational work for these tools that occurred during 2020.

ACCET will allow job seekers to create a verified, digital resume that displays industry-recognized credentials and progress against established competency models. Information will signal to employers that a worker or student possesses the requisite skills for either an entry-level job or progressive wage increases as a result of mastering new competencies.

The ATLAS on Career Pathways will serve as an integrated workforce and education database that will provide the data needed to identify in-demand careers and credentials. This information will be used to regularly adjust Alabama’s workforce and economic development programs to meet the needs of Alabama’s economy.

Additional highlights of the AWC’s efforts in 2020 found within the report include:

  1. Securing the $17.8 million Reimagining Workforce Preparation Grant (1 of 8 states in nation to receive) that will go toward upskilling and retraining efforts for those displaced by COVID-19.
  2. Forming the Alabama STEM Council in September 2020 via Governor Kay Ivey’s Executive Order No. 721. The Council members represent leaders from Alabama businesses, education, and state government, and their work will build on and extend Alabama’s Roadmap to STEM Success.
  3. Partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta to develop the DAVID tool to help individuals understand which in-demand career paths will help them achieve self-sufficiency and overcome potential loss of public assistance.

The full report can be viewed here.

About Alabama Workforce Council

The Alabama Workforce Council is comprised of business executives from some of the most important industries and organizations in the state of Alabama. The Council’s goal is to facilitate collaboration between government and industry to help Alabama develop a sustainable, top-notch workforce that is competitive on a global scale. Since its inception, the Council has been committed to analyzing important issues related to workforce development and making sound recommendations that will help to create more and better opportunities for all Alabamians.