State Launches Apprenticeship Alabama
In January, the Alabama Department of Commerce officially launched Apprenticeship Alabama, a program that invests in both workers and industry. The program offers tax credits to companies that hire qualified apprentices who receive classroom or industry-specific instruction and on-the-job training.
Apprenticeship Alabama follows the U.S. Department of Labor guidelines for apprenticeships and focuses on five industry sectors targeted in the state’s strategic plan for growth, Accelerate Alabama:
• Information technology
• Advanced manufacturing/industrial maintenance
The groundwork for Apprenticeship Alabama was laid last spring when the Alabama Legislature passed Senate Bill 90, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, creating the state’s Apprenticeship Tax Credit. Orr worked with Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and director of AIDT, to research state apprenticeship programs and draft a plan for Alabama. Last fall, Gov. Robert Bentley signed a proclamation declaring Nov. 14-20 as Apprenticeship Week in Alabama.
Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, center, AIDT Director Ed Castile and Apprenticeship Alabama Manager Frank Chestnut were among those on hand for Gov. Bentley’s signing of the proclamation designating Nov. 14-20 as Apprenticeship Week.
Under Apprenticeship Alabama, qualified companies can receive an income tax credit of $1,000 per year per apprentice. A company can receive a tax credit for up to five apprentices. To participate, companies must register with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship and meet its classroom and on-the-job training requirements. Alabama’s two-year colleges will play a key role in the classroom training area.
Frank Chestnut, who manages Apprenticeship Alabama, said the Department of Commerce is at work looking to grow the program and increase the number of participating businesses and applicants.
“Apprenticeship Alabama is employer driven,” Chestnut said. “Our slogan is ‘linking talent to opportunity,’ and the goal is to help employers grow their own talent pool within their organizations.”
To find out more about the benefits and requirements of Apprenticeship Alabama and how to register for the program, contact Chestnut at [email protected].
Please check out this story about Apprenticeship Alabama on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s website.
A program marking Apprenticeship Week was held in November at shipbuilder Austal’s facility in Mobile. Austal employs more than 4,000 people in Mobile.