Bevill State unveils new Rapid Training Center

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 10/11/19

Bevill State Community College showcased a response to industry growth Thursday with an open house and ribbon cutting for its new Workforce Solutions Rapid Training Center.  

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Bevill State unveils new Rapid Training Center

Posted

Bevill State Community College showcased a response to industry growth Thursday with an open house and ribbon cutting for its new Workforce Solutions Rapid Training Center.  

The center along Industrial Parkway in Jasper, which currently houses 60 welding machines and 50 welding booths, was made possible through a 2017 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission for $1.9 million for the Bevill State Community College POWER 2016 Grant Initiative.

"It's state of the art, it's cutting edge," Bevill State Community College President Dr. Kim Ennis said in an opening speech Thursday.

The training center's purpose is to offer training that will meet industry needs, and the center will offer accelerated workforce training programs in welding, commercial trucking, rigging, hydraulics/pneumatics, healthcare and print reading.

Ennis said the welding labs at the the new training center are among the largest welding labs in the state.  

"We have welding labs all across the state of Alabama, but I can confidently say that this facility, with its layout and with its state of the art equipment for training, is going to be the envy of the state," Matt Woods of the Alabama Community College Board of Trustees said. "This is a great recruiting tool for new business and industry in this region, but more importantly this will be a tremendous resource for our men and women who want to learn a trade that will lead to a prosperous career."

Crystal Davis of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs said she has been impressed to see the center's transformation over the past few months.

"We look forward to the impact that the center and the training program will have in preparing area Alabamians for opportunities to learn the skills needed in order to build successful careers in high demand jobs," she said.

Boone Kinard of the Alabama Community College System said the center will be crucial for Alabama to reach its goal of providing more credentialed workers across the state.

"Gov. Kay Ivey recently unveiled a statewide attainment goal of adding an additional 500,000 newly credentialed workers in Alabama's workforce by 2025," Kinard said. "That is a huge goal, but we are excited about the role that we can play at the Alabama Community College System to meet that goal and excited that this center here will play an important role in job training and placement, and not only be a hub for this area, but for the whole region of this state."

State Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, and Alabama Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth were also in attendance Thursday and praised the college and the Appalachian Regional Commission for making the center possible. 

"I'm excited about what this center will mean to our community and the state of Alabama," Reed said.

Ainsworth said, "Sixty to 65 percent of citizens aren't going to graduate from a four-year institution. What the community colleges are doing in this state is going to be critical in getting people trained for 21st century jobs.

"When you look at the data, the data doesn't lie. Forty percent of jobs in the next 10 years are going to be displaced due to science, math and technology. We've got to continue doing what you're doing here."    

A partnership with the Alabama Department of Labor will allow individuals impacted by coal production decline the option to receive up to $1,000 for retraining at the center.  

Ennis said she is thankful for many partnerships the college has secured, such as a partnership with Alabama Power for a new HVAC Training Center and a partnership with the Walker County Board of Education for a machine tool technology program. 

"That's how we'll move things forward in workforce is through partnerships, and I believe no one does it better than Bevill State Community College," Ennis said.

For information on enrolling in any of Bevill State's programs, visit www.bscc.edu.