IDA visits workforce development facilities

Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Chilton County Industrial Development Authority board heard updates on workforce development visits it had recently sponsored during its Feb. 8 meeting.

Allen Caton talked about a trip to Brookwood Career Technical Education Center and how impressed he was.

“Basically, they guarantee ever student that goes through this career tech a job,” Caton said.

This is made possible through partnerships with existing industries, including Mercedes.

Caton said Mercedes hires the students for four hours a day at $16 per hour.

“When they have finished the program, they can go to work for them — automatically $25 an hour,” Caton said.

He said all of the jobs pay well.

Training for school personnel on industry needs and career tech education is also provided.

Those who went on the tour included other IDA personnel, candidates for Chilton County Schools superintendent and Dr. Shannon Walker of LeCroy Career Technical Center.

“It was a really good tour,” IDA executive director Whitney Barlow said.

Barlow commented that Walker said many of the classes at Brookwood are offered at LeCroy but in different programs. Barlow and Walker discussed streamlining manufacturing-oriented classes and adding classes focused on logistics during a tour of the campus with CCS administrators and counselors.

Barlow said the program has a foundation for a number of jobs in different industries, commenting that having diversity is important.

IDA also hosted a tour of O-flex for the CCS administrators and counselors to discuss what they do and skills needed in the industry.

Similar tours are planned for Feb. 16 and 17

The possibility of partnering with Shelby County for school personnel industry training was also discussed.

An update on the Strawberry Festival that will be held in Thorsby was given. Barlow said five farmers, some vendors and performers have committed to participating.

The goal is for the event to promote agriculture.

“The farmers are extremely excited,” Barlow said.