Last month, the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and 58 INC., Shelby County’s economic development group, held a signing day for apprentices with local employers and Lawson State Community College.
The eight apprentices will receive degrees from LSCC as Computer Numeric Control machinists while working at Sealing Equipment Products Co., Precision Grinding or at Alabama Plate Cutting.
While working, the apprentices’ education will be paid for by their employers, which will also receive a tax credit. In addition, the students/employees will receive structured pay increases as they progress through the program.
Photo: Dr. Perry Ward, president of LSCC; Jacqueline Aguirre, apprentice; Mike Evers, vice president of manufacturing with SEPCO; Jean Ziegert, HR manager with SEPCO; and Hilda Garcia, Aguirre’s mother, celebrate Aguirre’s choice to apprentice with SEPCO.
More than 130 prospective employees descended on the Alabama Workforce Training Center in Birmingham on Thursday, Sept. 20, to meet with 18 manufacturing employers that represented more than 500 job openings. Employers had potential candidates fill out applications, conducted interviews, offered some employment right on site. The Central Six Manufacturing Hiring Fair was the result of discussions that the Central Six team had with members of its manufacturing cluster, which is dedicated to helping employers identify solutions to their workforce needs. In partnership with the Birmingham Business Alliance and the AWTC, it was the very first manufacturing-specific hiring event hosted by Central Six and included employers from throughout Region 4, including Birmingham Fastener, Autocar, Kamtek, CMC Steel, Altec, and Precision Grinding.
“Central Six did a fantastic job of organizing this event. This event brought in many qualified candidates due to the larger organizations they were able to bring in. We had great success with reaching candidates we might otherwise miss” said Jon Hughston, operations manager, Polyone Advanced Composites.
Central Six Manufacturing Industry Cluster Member Stacia Gaines with Altec added, “Central Six listens to its cluster groups and implements solutions to meet real needs. This focused manufacturing hiring fair was an immediate answer to our needs.”
Due to positive response from employers and successful employment opportunities for the region’s job seekers, Central Six plans to host a similar hiring event in the near future. For more information, please contact Kristen O’Keefe at email@example.com.
You can watch WBRC’s coverage of the event here.
Recently, several career technical education instructors, principals and other went on a half-day trip to learn more about the industries in Dallas County. The Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Development Agency and Central AlabamaWorks hosted the event.
Alexis Scott, a high school dual-enrollment student, and now a graduate of Bishop State Community College, is pursuing her goal of obtaining a biomedical engineering degree at Alabama State University.
“If I didn’t go to Bishop State when I first got started, I wouldn’t have known how important it is to have one-on-one relationships with teachers. That is the difference between you being a B student or an A student,” she said.
Click here to watch more of her story.