Alabama’s economic development is dependent on the credentialing and education of Alabama’s workforce. We must aggressively help our workforce acquire the skills employers seek in order to expand and diversify the state’s economy. Fortunately, Alabama has a workforce development network with highly-engaged stakeholders committed to meeting these challenges.
The Alabama Community College System is a critical component in the state’s workforce development engine. It provides citizens an excellent opportunity to obtain education, degrees, and certificates leading to future employment at any level. We must continue to emphasize and expand the transfer function of our colleges and assist our students in acquiring baccalaureate and advanced degrees.
However, the largest projected job increase will be in middle-skills jobs, defined as those positions requiring training and credentials beyond high school. As the skill level and education attainment requirements for fast-growing, high-demand middle-skills jobs rise, strategies must be implemented now to meet the demands of the future labor force.
The 1:2:7 Imperative addresses the role Alabama community colleges play in preparing the workforce so critical to the state’s economy. This proposal provides data-supported recommendations and specific strategies designed to address workforce development needs. The Alabama Community College System stands ready to collaborate with the state political and business leaders to meet the challenges of providing better jobs for its citizens, better workers for its businesses, and improved economic development for the state.