With more than 280,000 COVID-19 related unemployment claims filed in the past month, the impact of the virus on Alabama’s economy, workforce and workforce development efforts cannot be overstated.
To help businesses, employers, employees and communities navigate these challenging times, AlabamaWorks! and the Alabama Workforce Council have been hosting a weekly webinar series with state leaders to share important updates and information. These weekly webinars occur each Tuesday at 4 p.m. and can be viewed on the AlabamaWorks! Facebook page as well as on the AlabamaWorks! website.
Guests ranging from members of Gov. Kay Ivey’s staff, the Alabama Department of Labor, Alabama Department of Education, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Alabama Small Business Development Center and others have provided significant updates on the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Subjects discussed to date include unemployment claims and programs, small business disaster loans, the impact of federal legislation, K-12 education, higher education and many others. The next webinar on Tuesday, April 28 will include legal updates from attorneys at Balch & Bingham.
“Our hope is that these resources provide clarity to our current situation and are something that folks can share with their vast networks,’’ said Alabama Workforce Council Chairman Tim McCartney. “We plan to continue to hold these discussions as this dynamic situation continues to unfold and, specifically, hope they give insights into the state’s actions to provide as much stability as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The goal of the AWC is to help government and industry work together to develop a sustainable, top-notch workforce in Alabama that competes on a global scale. That work is now more important than ever, as McCartney noted. “The AWC, comprised of business and industry leaders, is keenly aware of the impact this pandemic is having on our state’s workforce and economy. We applaud Governor (Kay) Ivey and her administration’s tactical response to this challenging time and are standing with them to assist the state in any way that is needed.”
To that end, AlabamaWorks! and the AWC recently conducted a statewide survey for all businesses – large and small – about the impact of COVID-19. The results will be released soon and help identify how the pandemic has affected the state’s workforce, provide guidance for the public and private sectors going forward and, ultimately, help determine the future focus of workforce development in the state.
In addition to assisting with these webinars, the governor’s office recently launched a tool to aid in recovery efforts for hard-working Alabamians. ALtogetherAlabama.org is a one-stop shop meant to connect businesses, nonprofits and people that need help with the available resources during this time. This dynamic effort, along with other public-private partnerships, is critical as stakeholders in Alabama work together for a full economic recovery.
View previous webinars here: https://vimeo.com/showcase/6999364.