Each year Alabama’s Regional Workforce Councils collaborate with the Alabama Community College System to align industry needs with college training offerings. The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) provides grant opportunities to support Alabama community colleges to develop innovative, creative, and regionally customized workforce development projects. These annual grants are known as the ACCS Workforce Development Competitive Funds. Funding sources supporting this initiative include the Industry Certification Initiative and Special Populations funds.
In the spring North AlabamaWorks develops Requests for Training through its Industry Clusters. Business and industry leaders are provided the opportunity to discuss and determine with their cluster peers the greatest needs across their industry sector. North Alabama’s Industry Clusters include Aerospace, Automotive, Construction, Cyber/IT, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation/Logistics, and Utilities.
As commonality is found in workforce needs, the Regional Workforce Council then solicits colleges within its region to answer these Requests for Training with programmatic and equipment-based solutions.
Grant submissions continue into early summer, culminating with grant proposal presentations to the Regional Workforce Council’s Board of Directors, which is made up of North Alabama business and industry leaders. The Council considers the criteria provided by the Industry Clusters and scores grant proposals according to how well the colleges’ proposals meet the expressed needs of business and industry.
Once ranked by the board, North AlabamaWorks submits the proposal scores to the Alabama Community College System. ACCS then considers each workforce region’s recommendations to determine grant awards to be made to community colleges in the fall.
For 2023, North AlabamaWorks received 17 grant proposals valued at more than $3,000,000.
Participating colleges in Alabama’s Workforce Region 1 included Bevill State Community College, Calhoun Community College, Drake State Community & Technical College, Northeast Alabama Community College, Northwest Shoals Community College, and Wallace State Community College.
North AlabamaWorks deeply appreciates the opportunity to work with the outstanding regional colleges in North Alabama and the Alabama Community College System. This type of collaboration continues to rapidly advance workforce development in Region 1.
Aligning business and industry needs with regional training opportunities provides high-wage, high-demand careers for our citizens as well as a reliable workforce pipeline of well-prepared employees for our industries.
More about ACCS workforce development grant funding for community colleges:
Funds are not intended to support capital infrastructure projects unless it is directly tied to the college’s ability to deliver critical workforce development training.
The Special Populations funds go toward grant proposals that support workforce development training for special populations such as individuals with disabilities, individuals from disadvantaged families, those preparing for nontraditional training and employment, single parents, single pregnant women, displaced homemakers, those with barriers to educational achievement, incarcerated or on parole, first-generation college students, and/or individuals who need education or training for employment entry and/or advancement.
Industry Certification Initiative
Industry Certification Initiative funds support a system of workforce development that is responsive to the current and future needs of individuals and businesses by providing a wide range of services to help both job seekers and employers reach their potential.
Grant requests can include equipment and/or training that support high-wage and/or high-demand occupations.