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BCA CEO says Working for Alabama bill signals “a 21st Century approach”

“In order to attract and grow 21st Century jobs, Alabama must have a 21st Century approach,” Duncan said.

BCA CEO and President Helena Duncan.
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BCA President and CEO Helena Duncan joined Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday as she signed the ‘Working for Alabama’ economic and workforce development package and launched a new, more advanced era of worker training, employment incentives, and labor force expansion in Alabama.

“In order to attract and grow 21st Century jobs, Alabama must have a 21st Century approach to economic and workforce development,” Duncan said. “This package creates a job-ready workforce by helping Alabamians identify their skills, talents, and goals and provides the tools necessary to cultivate and hone them.”

Duncan said the accomplishment was the result of a coalition comprised of political and business leaders, economic developers, academics, and others who united behind the need for a new strategy spearheading workforce development within the state.

“The Working for Alabama initiative was the result of a team effort that included Governor Kay Ivey, whose success in job recruitment and economic development underlined the need to train a new and eager generation of skilled workers, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, whose Commission on 21st Century Workforce envisioned the plan, and our committed corporate partners, like Alabama Power, who took the lead in making that plan a reality,” said Duncan. “It is because of the business owners, ranging from large to small, who gave voice to their labor force struggles that our state was able to come together to meet the need.”

“This effort and the hope and promise it represents demonstrates that when Alabamians work together, we can overcome any obstacle, meet any goal, and create a better future for citizens across our state,” she noted.

Among the items included in the Working for Alabama package, which was approved by lawmakers during the 2024 regular legislative session, are tax credits to make childcare and affordable housing available to the working population, targeted job training programs, and a new high school diploma path for students who wish to pursue career tech instead of college prep.

The package also seeks to incentivize more potential workers to leave the sidelines and join the labor force because while our state enjoys record low unemployment and record high economic growth, it is estimated that more than 50,000 Alabamians are not participating in the job market despite the fact that roughly 140,000 employment opportunities currently exist.

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Recent statistics show Alabama has the seventh lowest unemployment rate in the nation, but the state’s labor force participation of 57.2 percent ranks 46th in the U.S. among eligible workers ages 16 and older who are employed or actively seeking employment.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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