The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Monday that the Alabama Community College System was awarded a $12 million grant toward expanding apprenticeship partnerships.
The ACCS was one of 23 academic institutions and consortia nationwide to receive this grant.
The grants were awarded to further private-public apprenticeship programs in three categories — information technology, advanced manufacturing and healthcare. The ACCS’s grant is to go toward advanced manufacturing.
Five thousand students are predicted to benefit from this expanded training. Nationally, over 85,000 students are predicted to benefit.
“Employers in Alabama are looking for individuals who are job-ready on day one, and an apprenticeship is a great way for students to gain both the classroom training and real-world experience these employers are seeking,” said ACCS Chancellor Jimmy Baker. “The Alabama Community College System is honored to be just one of 23 entities across the nation who have received a Scaling Apprenticeship.”
Some of the money will go toward expanding the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education program at Calhoun Community College to three additional colleges — Northwest Shoals Community College, Wallace State Community College Hanceville and Bishop State Community College.
Grant funds will also go toward implementing quick start pre-apprenticeship programs and short-term apprenticeship programs.
“Through Sector-Based Strategies grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand our apprenticeship programs to ensure opportunities for all Alabamians,” Baker said. “We look forward to working with our partners at the Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers along with business and industry right here in Alabama to provide important and vital training for the thousands of advanced manufacturing jobs available in the state.”
The apprenticeship funds nationally are aimed to increase opportunities for under-represented Americans in these fields, specifically women, people of color and people transitioning from the justice system to the workforce.