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Grade-Level Reading a Key Component of Gov. Ivey’s Workforce Development Plan

Portrait of Governor Kay Ivey

Reading. It’s the most elemental facet of learning anything — whether it’s in school, on the job or during everyday activities. Reading is fundamental to our growth in all aspects of life.

As a former teacher, Gov. Kay Ivey understands the importance and value of this very basic skill. In fact, it prompted her to create “The Alabama Campaign for Grade-Level Reading,” which focuses on students reading proficiently before they progress to the fourth grade.

To accomplish this milestone in childhood education by 2022, Gov. Ivey and her team will focus on five primary areas: School Readiness, Chronic Absenteeism, the Summer Learning Slide, Parents as First Teachers and Childhood Poverty.

This program is an integral part of the Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation. To learn more about this and other initiatives, visit the website.

Gov. Ivey spoke in greater detail about education and workforce development during a recent press conference, which you can read more about here.

More Than 150 People Attend First Meeting to Create 2020 Combined Perkins V/WIOA Plan

More than 150 people participated in the first of seven regional sessions designed to give input into creating Alabama’s 2020 Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act/Perkins V funding plan. The Informational Meeting and Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment was held at Calhoun Community College.

The Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation, the Alabama State Department of Education, the Alabama Community College System and the Regional Workforce Councils are hosting the meetings, which will be used to gather feedback in adopting innovative ways to leverage funding resources and better develop the state’s workforce pipeline.

group image of people at WIOA meeting

“Gov. Ivey’s bold five-year strategic plan for education and workforce development will make federal funding available for special populations in — and out of — school in CTE for both secondary and post-secondary education in Alabama,” said Ronnie Boles, WIOA local board chairman.

Stephanie McCulloch, assistant director of North AlabamaWorks, shares her thoughts about the event in this video.

These initial meetings will be held through August, with follow-up meetings planned for September.

First Talent Conference Attracts More Than 200 Attendees to Tuscaloosa

More than 200 people learned how to engage with millennials in the workforce at Tuscaloosa’s first Talent Conference June 26 at the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy.

America’s Millennial Expert Gabrielle Bosché addressed the group on recruiting and retaining millennials. Bosché is a two-time bestselling author and TEDx presenter. Following the keynote, approximately 100 industry leaders participated in Bosché’s breakout session, where they received one-on-one guidance.

representatives from bosche pose with West AlabamaWorks leaders

Photo:  Bosche’, second from left, poses with (left to right) West AlabamaWorks’ Katherine Waldon, Brittani Colburn and Donny Jones.

Alabama Reaches New Highs in Employment and Record Lows in Unemployment

Alabama set five new economic records in June, Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced. June’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5%, setting a new record low, beating the previous record low of 3.7%. June’s rate represents 2,160,931 employed people, a new record high, and represents 10,456 more than May’s count, and 48,952 more than in June 2018.

Read more here.

Unemployment numbers displayed on Alabama state map

Alabama-Based Apprenticeship Readiness Program Graduates First Students

Hard work pays off. That was a lesson learned by participants of the Central Alabama Building Trades’ Apprenticeship Readiness Program hosted by Jefferson State Community College. The first Alabama-based program had a 92% graduation rate, which surpassed national benchmarks.

Read the full story at Alabama NewsCenter.

group image of first graduates from Apprenticeship Readiness Program


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Wallace State and Kubota Form Partnership

Orange was THE color of choice at Wallace State Community College as the school announced a partnership with the Kubota Tractor Corporation. The announcement was made earlier this month.

Through the partnership, Wallace State’s Diesel Mechanics program will offer Kubota certifications through the National Coalition of Certification Centers. Through hands-on training with Kubota equipment, students will receive valuable credentials that will lead to increased employment opportunities. Keeping a skilled talent pipeline through programs like this is vital to the state of Alabama.

To learn more, click here.


  • Student Wins Gold in National Welding Competition. WAAY
  • UAH Surgical Students Get Hands-on Experience at Hospital. WAAY
  • Dynetics to Hire 700 Employees During the Next Five Years. Yellowhammer
  • Rainsville Fire Science Program Sees Hire After First Year. Times-Journal
  • NW-SSC Students Sponsored by Local Businesses at FAME Signing Day. Franklin County Times
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  • High School Dropouts Obtain GEDs. EAW
  • Motus to Build Plant in Gadsden.
  • Gadsden City High School Helps Prepare “English Newcomers.” The Gadsden Times
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Team Discusses Programs at Conference

West AlabamaWorks Executive Director Donny Jones and ZF Chassis Systems Plant Manager Brad Newman shared the importance of partnerships between education and industry at the Appalachian Education and Workforce Network Conference recently in Pikeville, Kentucky. The two highlighted programs such as Educator Workforce Academy, the Worlds of Work Career Expo and WOW 2.0.


  • Two Industrial Parks Receive AdvantangeSite Designation. EDPA
  • Region Launches “Pathways to Success” Program. YouTube
  • Gov. Ivey, German Official Tour Mercedes-Benz Plant.
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  • San Francisco Tech Company Headed to Birmingham.
  • Sheriff Announces Education Program for Inmates. WBRC
  • New Welding Facility in the Works at Jefferson State’s Shelby Campus. Shelby County Reporter
  • Prison Re-Entry Programs Get Millions in Grant Money.
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  • Ben E. Keith Foods to Invest $100 Million in Coffee County, Creating 80 Jobs. Alabama Political Reporter
  • Wallace Jump-Starts Alum’s Automotive Career Through Dual Enrollment Classes. Wallace Community College
  • Eufaula Names New Economic Development Director. Eufaula Tribune
  • Farming, Wallace Community College Give Local Lineman Opportunity Amid Hectic Childhood.WTVY
  • YES Program Sees 45 Graduates in Ceremony at Old Coppinville. Southeast Sun
  • Alabama Aviation College Program Promises Opportunity Amidst High Demand for Mechanics.WTVY
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  • Washington County High School Students Attend Two-Day Chemistry Program at the University of South Alabama. BASF
  • Flyadeal is the Latest Big-Time Customer for Airbus. Yellowhammer
  • Delta Gets 50th Alabama-Built Plane.
  • Project INSPIRE to Create Future STEM Teachers. Daily Mountain Eagle

Statewide Headlines

  • Alabama Sees Surge in Aerospace Exports. Alabama NewsCenter
  • U.S. Secretary of Labor Announces $12 Million Grant to Alabama Community College System.
  • Fact: Most American-Made Cars are Made in Alabama. Alabama NewsCenter
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services Strives to Narrow Employment Gap for Alabamians With Disabilities. Yellowhammer
  • ACHE Discusses Cheaper College. Alabama Political Reporter

National Headlines

  • U.S. Sees Best Manufacturing Job Growth in 30 Years. Market Watch

About AlabamaWorks!
AlabamaWorks is a network of interconnected providers of workforce services, including all of the governmental, educational and private-sector components that train, prepare and match job seekers with employers.