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Gov. Ivey to sign “Working for Alabama” legislative package

The bipartisan seven-bill package emerged early in the session as an attempt to combat the state’s low labor participation rate.

Governor Kay Ivey gave remarks during the Working for Alabama Rollout press conference at the Alabama State Capitol Thursday March 21, 2024 in Montgomery. Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager
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Gov. Kay Ivey will put pen to paper this morning in an official ceremony to sign a package of workforce-related bills into law.

Ivey, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and other legislative leaders announced the bipartisan seven-bill package early in the session as an attempt to combat the state’s low labor participation rate.

While unemployment rates have continued to historic lows, officials have pivoted toward the labor participation rate instead—only about half of Alabama adults are employed or seeking jobs.

“You can ask almost any employer in the state, and they’ll tell you that one of the biggest challenges they face is hiring skilled and trained employees,” Ainsworth said when the package was annoucned. “By eliminating barriers to entry into the workforce, and by making our state’s workforce development efforts more intentional, targeted and efficient, we can create an environment where more Alabamians are working, providing for their families, building careers and contributing to our economy. These transformational changes will make Alabama the workforce engine of the Southeast.”

The legislative package includes House Bill 358 led by House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville. The bill is a product in part of a “workforce and wage gap task force” commissioned by Ivey to come up with solutions to the labor participation gap with an emphasis on having more women participate in the labor force.

The package also includes legislation creating housing tax credits for certain housing developers in what lawmakers describe as an effort to recruit developers to build housing in areas that would otherwise not be enticing.

Other bills include renaming and reshaping the Department of Labor, now the Department of Workforce, and creating the Alabama Growth Alliance, a coalition of business leaders to help guide Alabama’s workforce efforts.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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