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New program focuses on workforce development, second chances for individuals with paroles and pardons

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 4:51 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Wallace Community College is getting ready to open up registration for a brand new program. Officials say the program could open up a wide-range of opportunities for those who may need a little help getting back on their feet.

The project is called the Second Chance Program and its’ goal to help provide a better future for individuals out of jail on paroles or pardons.

“We need that new pipeline of individuals to transition into the work force to go through some of our training programs,” said Joe Johnson, Director of Workforce Development at Wallace Community College. “The program encompasses a lot. The training will focus on everything from electrical fundamentals, to basic motor control, basic plc’s, mechanical principals, a lot of troubleshooting, so again, any entry-level or any intermediate level job in a manufacturing sector across a whole gamut of businesses this would fit.”

Second Chance falls under Wallace’s Basic Maintanance Technician Program on the Dothan campus. It’s been certified by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship as a certified pre-apprenticeship program. Currently, it’s the first and only one in the state.

To qualify, individuals must take an assessment exam..

“I just think it’s a great opportunity for these individuals in the area, really to start a new career in as little as twelve weeks. And there’s a lot of jobs available in the area. A lot of really good jobs that lead to great careers,” Johnson said.

Grants have helped purchase training equipment. District judges in Houston and Henry counties have also agreed to forfeit fees and fines for one year for those who are eligible for the program.

In the end, those who complete the program will have a second chance. Local employers will have a new crop of workers.

“As we try to identify a new pipeline of employees to help fill in these open positions or these new positions in the manufacturing sector, new business and industry would locate to our region. Obviously, we need that,” Johnson said.

Wallace will begin taking registrations in April. The program will officially launch on June 7th. If you’re interested in more information, you can email Amber Dunlap at adunlap@wallace.edu

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