Success Plus initiative aims to add 500,000 high-skilled workers

Success Plus initiative aims to add 500,000 high-skilled workers
Workers participate in Alabama's AIDT workforce training. A new initiative called Success Plus aims to create a pipeline of workers with higher skill levels. (contributed)

A new strategic workforce development initiative targets the addition of 500,000 high-skilled employees to Alabama’s workforce by 2025 in response to increasing employer demands for the higher levels of talent needed in modern workplaces.

Representatives of the Alabama Workforce Council, a group of high-level business leaders from across the state, presented Gov. Kay Ivey with a report  on the Success Plus initiative, which aims to prepare a pipeline of workers with industry-recognized skills obtained through earning certificates, credentials or degrees.

“Success Plus research recognizes that Alabama will need to add as many as 500,000 high-skilled employees to the workforce by 2025 to fill industry’s labor needs and compete for new businesses, which would equate to approximately 60 percent of the state’s working-age population,” the report says.

Ivey said the initiative is needed because the skills required to compete in 21st century workplaces are shifting.

“In order to stay competitive in a global economy, Alabama must prepare our workforce to be ready for the jobs of tomorrow,” she said. “We will be working with business and industry to ensure we have the training necessary to equip Alabamians with the skills needed for these high-tech, high-skill jobs.”

Read the Success Plus report.

Gov. Kay Ivey announces the Success Plus initiative at an event at the Austal shipyard in Mobile. (Governor’s Office)

Creating pathways

Representatives of the Alabama Workforce Council’s Statewide Educational Attainment Committee presented Ivey with its Success Plus report at an announcement event at the Mobile shipyard of manufacturer Austal, which employs more than 4,000 people.

“Today’s economy is changing and evolving rapidly,” said the committee’s chairman, Jeff Lynn of the Alabama Community College System. “More and more skill training, in addition to a high school degree, is essential to citizens looking to build a career, improve their lives and provide opportunities for their families.”

In addition to laying out a series of goals and measurements, Success Plus aims to improve access to educational opportunities, create pathways and defined routes that show people how to advance a career, and encourage collaboration among private and public entities.

Zeke Smith, chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council, said Success Plus is a natural extension of AlabamaWorks, a unified system that aims to link employers with job seekers and create career paths for young people.

“Success Plus will provide my team with another tool to utilize on the recruitment tool so that we can build on the economic development momentum we have going today,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“This initiative will underscore our commitment to providing a trained workforce and will give companies yet another reason to invest and create jobs in Alabama.”

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.

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