MONTGOMERY (EETV) – Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced that the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices has chosen Alabama as one of six states to participate in a policy academy focused on work-based learning aimed at producing a skilled workforce. Work-based learning blends work experience and applied learning to develop foundational and technical skills in hopes of expanding a person’s education, career and employment opportunities.
“When I announced my Strong Start, Strong Finish education initiative, I made clear my desire to give Alabamians the best opportunities possible to obtain the skills necessary to be competitive in the workforce,” Governor Ivey said. “I am thankful to the National Governors Association for choosing Alabama to work collaboratively with other states to develop concrete plans to develop our workforce.”
As part of the NGA policy academy, Alabama along with Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina and Rhode Island, will share best practices; develop plans to identify and scale high-quality programs; and develop policies to support and sustain work-based learning initiatives. Specifically, a focus will be placed on creating opportunities for youth and young adults, ages 16 -29, to get hands-on experience in STEM industries, such as advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and energy.
“As our automotive, aerospace and technology sectors continue to expand, it is critical that Alabama begins preparing our people now for the work that surely is to come to our state,” Ivey continued. “Workforce development is a key factor in attracting new businesses and a critical component for encouraging existing firms to expand. Developing quality workers is so important. I am ever so grateful to those who helped secure this grant for Alabama; their work is going to help put other Alabamians to work.”
The NGA work-based learning policy academy is funded by the Siemens Foundation. Alabama was only one of six states to be chosen from 16 applicant states.