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West Alabama Works Educator Workforce Academy helps prepare students for employment

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:12 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Class is in session for a West Alabama educators program.

On Monday, members of the Fall 2021 West Alabama Works Educator Workforce Academy visited the Brookwood Career Technical Annex after visiting two Mercedes Supplier plants in Tuscaloosa County.

“We’re really spending time helping them understand what the daily needs are for our employers so that they can translate that into the classroom and help students really understand the trajectory that they can go on to actually a great career,” according to Donny Jones, CEO of West Alabama Works.

More than two dozen teachers, counselors, and principals from Tuscaloosa-area schools are learning skills and traits that will make their students better prepared for jobs in the automotive and or manufacturing industries.

“I really just want to learn about what the process is. Like how early on can they get involved. It’s never too early from my experience to really hone in on those talents. It starts in middle school,” explained Latiffany Richardson, a counselor at Northridge Middle School.

Jones said businesses want workers with good soft skills. And there are courses that student can start taking early in school to prepare them for the technical training that will need too.

“Those soft skills, show up on time, stay the whole time, get along with others, passing a drug test. Those basic skills students need to have. But then also great programs that your see behind me like modern manufacturing where students can actually take a course in high school and learn their specific job,” Jones continued.

More than 200 educators have graduated from the Educator Workforce Academy since it started.

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