By Alexa Harley
Aug. 29, 2023
Original Article Link

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — After thousands of workers left their respective jobs during the 2020 pandemic, many industries are still reeling from that mass exit.

With many employers in desperate need of employees, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Innovation Center has launched a new “Skills for Success” program aimed at rapid workforce training.

“We started with food and beverage, which was really at the request of the tourism on the Gulf Coast,” said Innovation Center Workforce director Houston Blackwood.

“We’re into K-12 and high school seniors and juniors can take these courses too,” Blackwood added.

On top of the food and beverage courses, there are a variety of options including fiber optics, heavy equipment operation, hazmat endorsement, and more.

These courses are open to register for anyone, including students and employers who want their employees to go through them at no cost.

The courses are designed to be completed in anywhere from a few weeks to just one day.

“The need was for rapid training, something could be done in a week or so,” Blackwood said, “We make the course interactive so when they go through the theory that’s online it’s ‘game-ified’ if you will, so it’s not just a PowerPoint that we slide through. They actually have to participate and know content and master content.”

After the online portion, students then complete a 16-hour hands-on portion with instructors at any of the 24 community colleges and technical centers in the state.