The Alabama Power Foundation, Altec\Styslinger Foundation, Regions and additional community partners joined Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin today to announce a commitment totaling $3 million to the Birmingham Promise tuition assistance program.
“Every student deserves the opportunity to succeed,” Woodfin said. “I’m very grateful to the Alabama Power Foundation, Altec\Styslinger Foundation, Regions, and our business community and academic partners for helping us put people first. The steps we take today are the building blocks for Birmingham’s future workforce.”
Tony Smoke, vice president of Alabama Power’s Birmingham Division, called on others to invest in the city’s promising youths.
“The Birmingham Promise is an important investment in the future of our workforce and the growth of our economy,” Smoke said. “I encourage others in Birmingham’s business community to get involved in this initiative and help elevate our students and our community.”
John Turner, president and CEO of Regions, said we all benefit when young people are given opportunities for success.
“Through Birmingham Promise, educators, city leaders and the business community stand united around a tremendous opportunity to help more students succeed,” Turner said. “New investments are being made in today’s youth – investments that will benefit students, employers and our entire community for years to come.”
Lee Styslinger III, chairman and CEO at Altec Inc., echoed the significance of the program.
“The Birmingham Promise is critically important to workforce development in our region,” he said. “Altec joins the city, our educators and business community in taking the next step to support building a better Birmingham through a commitment to our students.”
In addition to the monetary commitment from each entity, Styslinger, Turner and Alabama Power CEO Mark Crosswhite are serving as fundraising co-chairs for Birmingham Promise.
The Birmingham Promise will create new career and college opportunities for graduates of Birmingham City Schools. It will also help meet the workforce needs of Birmingham’s current and future employers.
The program has two tracks: tuition assistance that covers college, and apprenticeships that provide Birmingham high school students with jobs and career experience to prepare them for post-graduation opportunities.
Students of Birmingham City Schools who are in the graduating class of 2020 are now eligible to apply for apprenticeships and scholarships.
Assistance from Birmingham Promise can be used to help pay tuition and mandatory fees at any public two-year or four-year college in Alabama.
Today’s announcement comes just days before the March 1 deadline for Birmingham City Schools students to apply for the Birmingham Promise. To qualify, students must apply to the Birmingham Promise, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be accepted by a public college or university in Alabama by the time they graduate.
Visit www.BirminghamPromise.org for more information.