State touts worker development

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's director of work force development has praised a program called "Dream it, Do it." It's aimed at improving the image of manufacturing among students, parents and educators.

The Tennessee Valley "Dream it, Do it" initiative, officially launched on May 5 for a 23-county area in North Alabama and southern Tennessee, is the first "Dream it, Do it" campaign in the Southeast and the first two-state effort.

Matthew Hughes, director of the Governor's Office of Workforce
Development, says these are uncertain times in the economy.

He says the way for the state of Alabama and the country to keep a
leadership role in a global economy is having "a skilled and
well-educated work force."

The DIDI program was created by the National Association of Manufacturers and first piloted in the Kansas City area in 2005.
The DIDI program in the Tennessee Valley is the 14th to be launched
in the country.

Ronnie Boles, president of General & Automotive Machine Shop in Huntsville, has spent the last three years working to establish the program locally.

Boles is also the Region 2 chair on the state's Workforce Development Council.

He says the goal is to get the word out about challenging, well-paying manufacturing jobs available in the region. He says the highest-paying jobs in the industrial sector are in manufacturing.

The DIDI campaign encourages students to take more science,
technology, engineering and math courses to be prepared for manufacturing jobs.

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