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Alliance formed to reinforce construction industry in Alabama

Highway construction
Highway construction(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 10:07 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) - Finding skilled labor has historically been a challenge in the construction industry.

In an attempt to address that ongoing issue in Alabama, several agencies, nonprofits, and institutions across the state have agreed to come together in a collaborative effort in order to to train perspective employees who will be credentialed and certified for employment in the construction industry.

In a press release on Wednesday, AlabamaWorks! announced the collaboration for the initiative and said the formation is known as the Alabama Construction Workforce Alliance (ACWA). Currently, it consists of the Alabama Associated General Contractors, the Alabama Roadbuilders Association, the Alabama Workforce Council, the Alabama Construction Research Institute and Auburn University.

According to the release, these groups have committed to partnering together, with state education and workforce agencies, to guide ACWA’s mission and the vision for the streamlined construction workforce.

Alabama Workforce Council Chairman Tim McCartney, formerly of McCartney Construction, said the Alliance aligns perfectly with Governor Ivey’s attainment goal of adding 500,000 credentialed workers to the workforce by 2025, and the state’s overall workforce development credentialing pipeline efforts.

“ACWA was developed as a response to concerns by the Alabama construction industry about the serious shortage of skilled labor and the need for improvements to the current construction workforce talent pipeline,” said Jorge Rueda, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Auburn University and the person leading ACWA implementation efforts.

The proposed Alliance is based on the fact that greater benefits are made available whenever workforce development initiatives are implemented as a combined, coordinated effort by government, industry and education entities, Rueda said.

The ACWA is one of the five third-party intermediaries identified for the $17.8 million Reimagine Workforce Preparation Grant, according to AlabamaWorks!. That is the grant awarded to assist workers that are displaced by COVID-19.

This grant will be administered by the Alabama Department of Commerce and used to support the Alabama Workforce Stabilization Program. The Alabama Community College System, Alabama Technology Network, and AIDT will all be instrumental in providing the training programs for the grant as well as implementing the new construction-focused training programs.

If you would like to find out more information on the ACWA, contact Jorge Rueda at jrueda@auburn.edu.

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