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Jimmy Baker: Bold, foundational changes needed to grow and progress Alabama’s workforce



It's no surprise that Alabama's leaders are focused on increasing the state's workforce participation. Three-quarters of in-demand, livable-wage jobs now require a higher education qualification or higher.we at the Alabama Community College System believe that bold and fundamental change is needed, focusing on high school students and adults.

We can deliver it to you.

Our plan is the Alabama Career Roadmap. The Alabama Career Roadmap facilitates the opportunity for all Alabama high school students to make informed and intentional decisions about their future after high school. The plan calls for all Alabama high school seniors to earn at least one post-secondary credit or work credential by 2029, better preparing them to succeed in Alabama's workforce. It will be.

Additionally, the Alabama Career Roadmap expands on existing efforts to support post-secondary professional skills training to help advance the workforce.

There are many reasons why you need an Alabama Career Roadmap.Approximately 100,000 residents are elderly 18-24 year olds in Alabama are not working or attending school. This age group makes up a significant portion of the state's workforce.

The situation is urgent.There is 38 available workers for every 100 open jobs. 16% of Residents of the state live in poverty.

we are going to change that.

We urge policymakers to consider the significant contributions that community colleges have already made. whole Enrollment at Alabama community colleges and technical schools increases That's a higher rate than community colleges nationwide and four-year universities across the state. The current dual enrollment program has more than 29,000 students, which represents a 159% increase since Congress first funded the program in the 2014-15 school year.

We partner with more than 5,200 companies who trust us to build work-based learning opportunities customized to their hiring needs.of ACCS Innovation Center's Skills for Success courses have helped train more than 11,000 high school students and adults toward post-secondary credentials. Alabama's adult education programs are being enhanced to identify individuals who need remedial education assistance to prepare for postsecondary education and/or workforce training.

Thanks to Alabama legislators, our work continues. At least one workforce-related capital improvement project is underway at each of the state's 24 community colleges and technical schools. These projects are customized to the needs of local employees.

We are a community. We do this because the Alabama Legislature established the Alabama Community College System 61 years ago to serve the needs of all communities in the state. We live, work, and serve the people we support. Families and school systems already know us and trust the services we provide.

We ask our state leaders to continue this journey with us and invest in our plans for the future.

Jimmy H. Baker is president of the Alabama Community College System. To learn more about the system's 24 colleges, programs, and services, visit: www.accs.edu.

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