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Alabama Career Center System to host emergency meetings for Virginia College students, employees

Wednesday, the Alabama Career Center System, in cooperation with the Alabama Community College System, AIDT, the Southwest Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment (SWAPTE), and the Rapid Response Team (part of the Dislocated Worker Unit at the Alabama Department of Commerce) announced that there will be emergency information sessions for students and employees who have been impacted by the sudden closings of four Virginia College campuses across the state. The closures affected approximately 1,100 Alabama students.

Last week the Education Corporation of America (ECA) announced that it would be abruptly closing its campuses in Alabama and across the country. ECA represents Brightwood Career Institute, Brightwood College, Ecotech Institute, Golf Academy of America, and Virginia College throughout the country. ECA is based in Birmingham and operates for-profit Virginia College campuses in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery. Many of those students were using their G.I. benefits and/or student loans to fund their educations.

The Alabama Career Center announced that degree and training programs are available to students through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including full and partial funding for two and four-year degree programs, vocational and industrial training, and more. Qualified applicants can participate in these programs at no charge. Employees can also take advantage of benefits such as mortgage assistance and unemployment insurance, among others.

“We realize that many students were left without options with this closing,” said Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “There are many programs available and we want to be sure that students know about them. In some cases, they may be able to finish their education at no cost. Affected employees should also attend to find out what services may be available to them.”

The meetings will be held in Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Huntsville.

Meeting info is as follows:

In Mobile, Thursday, December 27 at the Mobile Career Center, 515 Springhill Plaza Court, Mobile 3606 at 2:00 p.m. 251-461-4146,

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In Montgomery, Wednesday, December 19 at Montgomery Career Center; 1060 East South Blvd. Montgomery 36116 at 1:00 p.m. 334-286-1746

In Birmingham, Monday, December 17 at the Birmingham Career Center; 3216 4th Avenue South; Birmingham 35222 at 10:00 a.m. 205-582-5200

In Huntsville, Wednesday, December 19 at the Huntsville Career Center; 2535 Sparkman Dr. NW; Huntsville, AL 35810 at 2:00 p.m. 256-851-0537

Space is limited, so students should call ahead to reserve a spot.

Information about these programs can also be found at:

The Alabama Department of Labor / The Alabama Career Center System is a partner in Alabama Works, Alabama’s unified workforce system.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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