SUMITON – Dean Al Moore, who is the dean of workforce and workforce solutions to economic development for Bevill State Community College, says workforce solutions encompass more than just training.
Moore was the guest speaker at the October East Walker Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, talking about the work his workforce and adult education teams at Bevill State do to prepare candidates for technical jobs in the workforce.
“We provide testing, skills assessment, and all sorts of solutions to business and industry,” Moore said. The workforce teams go into companies and assess needs and then find ways to meet those needs, according to Moore. This includes all non-credit training and related activities.
Programs include certified nursing assistants, dental assistants, and other training.
One recent success story was the HVAC Summer Boot Camp, which was a collaboration with Alabama Power.
“That was a big deal because the power company in all the years they’ve been doing HVAC training, they’d never done a boot camp,” Moore said. The partnership between Alabama Power and Bevill made this possible. “All of those young men who completed that program are employed today,” he said.
Bevill State kicked off a Manufactured Homes Installation program last week in Hamilton in conjunction with Clayton Homes. This program trains candidates to perform work related to producing manufactured homes.
“The day we launched the program, we had 15 manufacturers from across the state of Alabama who came to support the program,” Moore said.
Last year, Bevill trained thousands of people on the non-credit side, according to Moore. The college has formed collaborative partnerships with 183 companies.
Several years ago, Bevill State pursued an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Power Grant. The ARC was trying to help communities that served dislocated coal miners. The Power Grant was to help these miners to retool and reskill these people, according to Moore.
Bevill conceived the idea of a rapid training center, and the college received over $1.9 million to create this center. They secured a building on Industrial Parkway in Jasper, and in the building, they put a state-of-the-art welding facility complete with 50 weld booths, according to Moore. The building also has labs, classrooms, and additional training space. The ribbon-cutting for that ARC project was Thursday.
The ARC metrics that Bevill State must reach with this Power Grant include 40 businesses improved, 150 jobs retained and 4,000 workers trained or improved.
Bevill far exceeded this number of workers trained, according to Moore. Last year Bevill trained 10,300 workers. Ninety-four percent of those got promotions or were able to maintain their current jobs.
Based on their track record, Moore feels that Bevill State has been highly successful with its workforce programs.