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Lt. Governor Ainsworth tours Wallace and talks workforce development


Dothan, Ala. – Workforce Development is a major topic among employers looking for trained employees, and state leadership has heard the message. Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth visited Wallace Community College-Dothan recently with one purpose: make a difference in how Alabama community colleges train the workforce for this century.

“Community colleges are a big part of growing jobs in Alabama. We want to be known as a workforce engine across the country,” Ainsworth said. “We want to make sure that community colleges are successful in growing the workforce with infrastructure, funding, and technology.”

The Lt. Governor toured the Health Sciences Simulation Center and the Surgical Technology and Criminal Justice programs to see the technology used to train students in real-world scenarios with hands-on skills.

Jimmy Baker, Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, commented that Ainsworth has approached Workforce Development in a driven way. “He made up his mind that he was going to be a difference maker. He has embraced workforce development in the state.” He said that Ainsworth’s tireless method of analyzing workforce development will move the community college system to expand the training needed by employers and grow the workforce in the state.

One project that is front and center for the Lt. Governor the creation of an app that targets middle school students. Noting that everyone has a phone, the app will drive students to learn about jobs and careers, and the skills and education required to obtain them. “They will be able to contact a community college within a 60-mile radius to get the education they need for dual enrollment, a degree, or certificate,” he said. The idea is to get students to start researching careers early. The app should be launched this year.

The Lt. Governor was wowed with the facilities and technology at WCCD. He plans to push for adequate funding for community colleges and workforce development. “We need to have 21st century facilities and equipment,” he remarked. While he acknowledged that unemployment is currently low, he said we need to keep trained employees in our state. “The number one thing that industry tells us is that they need trained people.”

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