The Alabama Workforce Council has presented a new set of recommendations to Governor Robert Bentley, including the creation and implementation of a new unified and universal brand for the Alabama Workforce System.
The idea goes beyond just a logo, said Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, director of the worker training agency AIDT and a member of the Alabama Workforce Council.
“It’s really about the content of a program,” he said. “We have people at various stages of education and training. Many want to go to a higher level or want a new job, or maybe they’re just trying to enter the workforce. At the same time, we have businesses who need workers too, and we hope this becomes their destination to find what they need.”
The Alabama Workforce System should be the first thought for these different groups, not an afterthought, Castile said.
“This brand, this workforce system, becomes their destination. They know it, they know that’s where to go, and the point is to line up all of it from early K-12 throughout life. We want to make sure there is a system, where anybody who needs it is just a click or two away from having their answer,” he said.
Castile is one of the panelists at this week’s Alabama Economic Growth Summit hosted by Yellowhammer Multimedia that will assemble the state’s top leaders in government, business, economic development and academia.
He will be part of a panel today discussing public/private partnerships in Alabama’s workforce development efforts.
Castile cited the ongoing work of the Alabama Workforce Council, a 40-member board made up business executives and others that was established in 2014 to facilitate collaboration between government and industry and help Alabama develop a sustainable, globally-competitive workforce.
Some of the group’s first recommendations, presented to Governor Bentley a year ago, prompted action by the Legislature, including additional funding for a high school career coach program and consolidation of the state’s primary non-education workforce development functions into the Department of Commerce.
LISTENING TO BUSINESS
Castile said the Alabama Workforce Council’s makeup of business and industry representatives is as significant as the recommendations they provide.
“Speaking for myself, as a practitioner, we’re going to follow their lead. They’re our customers. These recommendations coming from that group in particular, it’s certainly the foundation that matters,” he said.
Other new recommendations from the Alabama Workforce Council include:
- Funding for 12 additional career coaches that would bring the statewide total to 80 and place one in each high school at least one day a week
- Consolidation of the Regional Workforce Councils and the alignment of those consolidated regions with the efforts of local community colleges to eliminate redundancies
- Requiring regional entities to be responsible for a “talent supply chain.” Each entity also should be led by a paid executive director who reports to a board of regional business, industry and education leaders supported by the Department of Commerce
- Creation of a new, online “one-stop” resource that is easily accessible to business, government, education and public users
Read the AWC 2015-2016 Council Recommendations.