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Alabama Community College System opens “Innovation Center” to assist workforce demand


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Innovation Center has launched its first of several industry-designed programs to help students find immediate employment.

The investment will total $10 million, and the training that the students will go through includes butchery, commercial drivers license (CDL), recreation, heavy equipment, plumbing, facilities maintenance, and hospitality.

The ACCS also received funding from the Legislature to develop the Innovation Center and expand skills training and career technical programs that lead to nationally recognized short-term certifications in high-demand industries.

With 24 community colleges in more than 130 locations, the ACCS is Alabama’s gateway to first-class, affordable education and technical training to compete in a constantly evolving workforce. The ACCS is governed by the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees.

“Every Alabamian deserves an opportunity to succeed in the state’s economy,” said Chancellor of the ACCS, Jimmy Baker. “The Innovation Center is where we house people to devote to the process of developing curriculum for training, no matter what it may be, so that residents can take those credentials and either get to work or get promoted with the right skills for their job.”

The focus on rapid training comes at a time with the entire nation facing supply chain issues.

“It’s not always that someone needs two years at the community college to make them have the skills viable for the labor market,” Baker said, “so we have found a way to expedite the training so we can move people more rapidly into the market.

The Innovation Center has already successfully collaborated with the Alabama Tourism Department to help workers train for and find jobs in the state’s $16 billion hospitality industry, thanks to a $1 million grant from Gov. Kay Ivey.

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