Alabama government and business leaders on Wednesday announced the private-public partnership to help carry out the state’s strategy for the future of workforce development. Using leading edge virtual reality (VR) training solutions from job simulator TRANSFRVR, JumpStartAL will offer new education and training programs to develop the state’s next generation of highly skilled workers.
“Alabama is focused on the future,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “JumpStartAL will help ensure that we are positioned to attract the jobs of tomorrow by educating and training Alabamians to take advantage of the opportunities those jobs will provide.”
The initiative will highlight career paths needed for Alabama to meet its goal of increasing its workforce by 500,000 highly skilled workers by 2025.
JumpStartAL training modules are created with input from industry partners and will help participants develop specific skills needed for jobs, beginning with manufacturing and expanding into other industries. Training is available for anyone interested in a career in the skilled trades, including high school students, veterans, workers in existing industries, the unemployed and underemployed.
JumpStartAL will initially roll out at five Alabama community colleges, with more campuses and training facilities added in the future:
- Coastal Alabama Community College.
- Enterprise State Community College.
- Jefferson State Community College
- Lawson State Community College
- Shelton State Community College
“Now, more than ever, we must be engaged in new and inventive ways to train the next generation of skilled workers,” said Alabama Community College SystemvChancellor Jimmy Baker. “Our colleges are committed to meeting students where they are and helping them achieve a better future. Hands-on virtual reality training is a means of achieving that goal.”
The statewide network of partners in the JumpStartAL initiative includes the Alabama Community College System; Ready to Work, which is operated by Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT); the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education; the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development; the Business Education Alliance; TRANSFRVR; Shelby County economic development organization 58 INC; Central Six Alabama Works; and the Alabama Department of Commerce.
Alabama Power, Altec and Kamtek are among the private sector leaders of JumpStartAL. The statewide business community is supporting the initiative through job placement strategies and financial efforts.
“It is a great privilege for Altec to be partnering with so many outstanding companies and organizations throughout Alabama on such an innovative workforce development initiative,” said Jay Eichelberger, general manager for Altec Industries. “JumpStartAL demonstrates Alabama’s leadership role in developing skill-aligned training programs that help broaden employment and economic opportunities. It will ensure that those entering the workforce are much better prepared to succeed, while allowing employers within the state to utilize state-of-the-art training technology that is focused on specific job skills and requirements.”
JumpStartAL also will focus on addressing new challenges and opportunities that arise as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The organizations and companies that make up JumpStartAL have a shared vision of ensuring Alabama and its citizens are well-positioned for a prosperous and inclusive future in the 21st century economy,” said Leigh Davis, vice president of Economic and Community Development for Alabama Power. “We are honored to join with them to help make this vision a reality.”