Alabama priming workforce for tech
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Feb 06, 2001
In an effort to train Alabama's workforce for the growing manufacturing
and technology sectors, the state has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships,
and it hopes to dole out more by year's end.
Through an executive order last October, Gov. Don Siegelman created the
Alabama Technical Scholarship Program and to encourage students to enroll
in the manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, aerospace and aviation technology
and information technology sectors.
During the past year, several companies — including Mercedes-Benz and Lockheed
Martin Corp. — have expanded their plants, and new ones, such as Honda Motor
Co., have moved in. All require highly skilled workers.
Each scholarship recipient receives $1,500 per semester toward tuition,
books, fees and other materials. The financial assistance is paid directly
to the training provider, and scholarships may be renewed each semester
for those who meet renewal qualifications. In the past month, 205 residents
out of nearly 1,700 applicants were awarded scholarships.
Those eligible must plan to enroll in one of the manufacturing or technology
fields and must have a high school diploma or equivalent, an annual family
income of less than $50,000 and no felony convictions. Officials expect
most scholarships would be used at two-year colleges.
The program is part of a larger public/private program called Alabama Works,
which will consist of training programs for people with little or no work
experience in the machining and IT sectors.