Montgomery, AL- Ed Castile, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Division, and Director of AIDT, announced that Josh Laney has been named as the director of the newly established Alabama Office of Apprenticeship (AOA).
In his new role Laney will partner with industries and education providers across the state to develop and expand traditional and industry-recognized apprenticeships for youth and adults. He will also lead the AOA’s support of larger workforce development infrastructure for Alabama to identify and promote the recognition and use of credentials of value.
Laney previously served as Senior Director for Workforce Development for the Alabama State Department of Education where he supported local school system efforts to align the career technical training initiatives with workforce needs. With over 20 years of experience in education Laney’s career path has taken him from the classroom to administrative leadership in junior high and high school settings before assuming the role of Career Technical Director for Phenix City Schools in 2011.
Under Laney’s leadership the AOA will grow Alabama’s registered apprenticeship opportunities, resulting in additional skilled employees in the workforce and increased economic activity for Alabama.
“The Alabama Office of Apprenticeship is a “game changer.” Having someone like Josh who is passionate about education and dedicated to the growth and preparedness of our workforce is a homerun for Alabama,” stated Castile.
The establishment of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship is another step in Alabama’s strategic efforts to develop a comprehensive workforce system. Apprenticeship programs allow the state to meet the current and future demands of business and industry, and create greater opportunities for Alabamians.
Registered apprenticeship programs are innovative work-based learning opportunities that rely on business involvement and provide on-the-job training while also providing wages from employers during training. Apprenticeship sponsors develop highly skilled employees, while reducing turnover rates and increasing productivity. Currently Alabama has five industry focused sectors for apprenticeships: Healthcare, Construction/Carpentry, Information Technology, Distribution/Transportation & Logistics and Advance Manufacturing.
“The success of Apprenticeship Alabama over the last few years made us realize that we needed to go bigger. With Josh’s extensive background in workforce development and education it was natural fit for our agency,” Castile said.
On June 10, 2019, Governor Ivey signed Senate Bill 295, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr, into law which not only established the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship, but expanded the Apprenticeship Alabama Tax Credit from $1,000 to $1,250. It also increased the number of apprentices one employer may claim from five to ten, as well as the tax credit cap from $3 million to $7.5 million, and established the Alabama Apprenticeship Council. The AOA will serve as the registration agency for all registered apprenticeships in the state of Alabama.