Apprentice Readiness Program prepares Alabama students for skilled trades

Apprentice Readiness Program prepares Alabama students for skilled trades
Participants in the Apprentice Readiness Program. It started in April with this full class of a dozen students. (Contributed)

Workforce development officials say that developing a well-trained workforce prepared for current and future jobs is essential for continued growth in Alabama.

To better prepare Alabamians for trade careers, Central Alabama Building Trades began an Apprentice Readiness Program (ARP), providing foundational knowledge and positioning participants for success. Jefferson State Community College is hosting the 10-week program, which began with a full class of 12 students in April.

The North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) sponsors ARPs, designed to prepare local residents, particularly those from underrepresented communities and transitioning veterans, for registered Building Trade apprenticeship programs. These programs produce plumbers, electricians, ironworkers and other skilled professionals that propel growth in the state.

State and local Building Trade Councils administer the programs, partnering with local business, education and community leaders to provide comprehensive pre-apprenticeship training in local communities.

“The Apprentice Readiness Program provides the opportunity for local residents to prepare themselves to compete for career opportunities in the building trades unions, which supports many industries through their specialized construction skills,” said Alabama ARP Coordinator Terry Davis.

The skill set of electrical workers is included in the apprentice program. (file)

Through a pre-apprenticeship, participants receive hands-on training and educational services, exposing them to union crafts and the construction industry before they select a specific career trade. Program administrators aid throughout the application process for Registered Apprenticeship programs.

“Skilled trades are so important for Alabama’s economy today, as well as the economy of the future. Investing in local communities through educational resources like the Apprentice Readiness Program helps develop the highly skilled workforce we need,” said Jeff Peoples, Alabama Power senior vice president of Employee Services and Labor Relations.

“This class mirrors the diversity of the workers in our state and I am excited to see such determined students who want to advance their careers,” said Southern Company Workforce Development Specialist Tom McNeal.

Potential students who want to learn more about future offerings of the program should contact Terry Davis at [email protected]

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