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December 1, 2016
Governor announces grant to support career training program at Piedmont City Schools

MONTGOMERY— Gov. Robert Bentley has announced a $70,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant that will help Piedmont City Schools better prepare students and adults for locally available jobs.  

The grant will support the school system’s Piedmont Apprenticeship and Career Training Initiative. The program is designed based on local and regional workforce needs as well as PLAN 2020, a program with the goal of having all school-system students college- and career-ready by 2020.

“By helping students become better prepared for the jobs of the future, we give them a much better chance of having long-term success,” Bentley said. “This program will help them qualify for jobs that provide valuable services to their community.”

According to school system officials, rural Calhoun County lacks the certified healthcare workers and technology workforce to meet local demand. The program addresses that need in three phases. The first phase offers students, recent graduates and community members an opportunity to become certified in repairing Apple computer products and recruit ongoing clients to sustain the program. Phase two is an apprenticeship program that offers credentials and certification for health-care jobs as phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, radiology technicians and certified nursing assistants. Phase three offers apprenticeships to four students per year in robotic welding, a skill needed for careers in automated manufacturing plants and at automotive suppliers.

During the first year of the program, 134 students and adults will receive training. The school system is providing $70,000 in matching funds for the grant.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the ARC program in Alabama along with a wide range of other programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.

“This local-state-federal partnership is helping prepare Piedmont students for jobs in high-demand fields and occupations,” ADECA director Jim Byard Jr. said. “By helping participants increase their job skills, this program will benefit both them and the companies and the organizations looking to hire them. ADECA is pleased to play a role in this program.”

Congress established the ARC in 1965 as a supplemental grant program to raise the standard of living, improve the quality of life and promote economic development in the Appalachian mountain region, which includes 37 Alabama counties.


Contact: Russell Sellers, Mike Presley

For more information, visit:  http://www.adeca.alabama.gov/