North AlabamaWorks reaches out to, partners with industries, job-seekers

In Franklin County, where can people go for workforce development and other training opportunities to improve their careers or employability?

There’s a short answer. They can look to North AlabamaWorks.

“We’re encompassing all workforce development in North Alabama,” North AlabamaWorks assistant director Stephanie McCulloch explained. Although in the state’s history, workforce development resources have sometimes been disjointed, the new AlabamaWorks is an intricate partnership among the state Department of Commerce, AIDT, Alabama Technology Network, Alabama Community College System, state Board of Education, state Department of Labor and the Alabama Career Center System. North AlabamaWorks serves 13-county Region 1: Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan and Winston counties. The workforce council is made up of leaders from industry, education, the chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, nonprofits and local government agencies across the region, with more than 75 percent of the voting membership made up of business and industry representatives. One more representative is currently being sought for Franklin County.

The new, reorganized, unified AlabamaWorks, McCulloch explained, is designed as a pipeline to help direct employers, workforce developers and job-seekers to the resources they need. The council provides a direct link to the workforce needs of business and industry at the local level and helps to coordinate education, training and job placement system to meet the needs defined by local employers – basically, to “make sure everyone is on the same page and working together.”

Quarterly meetings called workforce summits are held in different locations across the region to reach the multitude of stakeholders. Through healthcare, advanced manufacturing and construction clusters, the council is also tasked with analyzing workforce development grant requests to ensure funding is used the best possible way to help the greatest number of job-seekers, employers and businesses.

“AlabamaWorks stands for opportunity, innovation, accountability and inclusion with the vision of a better future for Alabama in which communities, business and industry are supported in a collaborative process to build prosperity through the opportunity of meaningful work and a growing economy,” according to alabamaworks.com. “Our mission is to recruit, train and empower a highly-skilled workforce driven by business and industry needs and to be the competitive advantage for Alabama’s economic growth. Whether you’re an employer, a job seeker or a student, AlabamaWorks is the springboard for your success and promises to provide profitability and economic growth by creating opportunities for success and an improved quality of life for Alabamians.”

For more information or to seek workforce-related resources, visit northalabamaworks.com.

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