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Alabama one of six states to participate in youth apprentice program

The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices announced Wednesday that Alabama, along with five other states, has been selected to participate in a new youth apprenticeship program.

Dubbed the Police Academy to Advance Youth Apprenticeship, the program will offer year-long opportunities that help develop policy agendas that advance youth apprenticeship opportunities, with states also receiving a $50,000 grant to help execute the program. The Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship – which has acted as a partner to the NGA Center – defines youth apprenticeships as including the following four elements:

  • Paid, on-the-job learning under the supervision of skilled employee mentors 
  • Related classroom-based instruction 
  • Ongoing assessment against established skills and competency standards 
  • Culmination in a portable, industry-recognized credential and postsecondary credit 

Gov. Kay Ivey said that the announcement was “Good news for Alabama and good news for the young men and women preparing for our workforce,” in a social media post on Wednesday, championing the program as just the latest accomplishment for the state’s ongoing workforce development efforts. 

“Our workforce development efforts focus on connecting our students’ educational journeys with real-world jobs. That’s what it’s all about, y’all,” she continued.

Ed Castile, deputy secretary of Commerce for Workforce Programs, mirrored Ivey’s comments, and said that the announcement demonstrates “Secretary Greg Canfield’s commitment to developing the Alabama workforce.”

“These efforts move us closer to meeting Gov. Ivey’s Success Plus goals in developing a strong workforce for the very successful economic sectors within the state,” he said.

Workforce development was a major theme during the most recent legislative session, with the four-bill package dubbed “The Game Plan” being one of Ivey’s key pushes this year. The four bills, which were ultimately passed by the Legislature, created several economic incentives for businesses to recruit and grow in the state. One of the four bills, the Enhancing Transparency Act, mandated that economic incentive information be published online. The Jobs Act has created 40,000 jobs since it took effect in 2015.

“We are always pleased to be a part of the broad workforce initiatives going on in Alabama and immensely appreciative of the support of Gov. Ivey,” said Josh Laney, director of the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship.

“Being chosen to participate in this NGA policy academy gives us a chance to share our successes and learn from our peers around the nation, bringing home and implementing the very best ideas.”

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