Governor In Decatur To Sign Bill Creating Workforce Council

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - Preparing today's students for tomorrow's jobs. That's the goal of a newly formed workforce council in the state. Friday Gov. Robert Bentley, and a host of other state officials were in Decatur to sign the new law.

how will this new council actually help students and industry? The Alabama Workforce Council is essentially charged with the continued development of Alabama's workforce. They'll formulate policy at the state level and help in the development of educational programs designed to help meet the needs of business and industry.

While the specific needs of each business and industry in Alabama may be different, generally speaking their needs are all quite the same. They all need a skilled workforce capable of helping the business succeed. The Alabama Workforce Council is designed to help the state produce the needed workers.

"I can tell you that no company is any better than its workers," Gov. Bentley said Friday just prior to the bill's ceremonial signing at Decatur's NUCOR Steel. He added, "And if you don't have good workers that take pride in what they do everyday, you're not going to have a good company, and you're not going to make a profit."

Gov. Bentley, always boastful of Alabama's workforce, a key selling point in attracting new industry to the state. The council's mission, help schools target their efforts to better match the needs of both new and existing industry.

"You know, it's a tough economy and a lot of competition and if you can keep your workforce educated, it'll just give you the ability to be that much better and provide services and products to our customers of high quality," says Mike Lee, the Vice-President and General Manager of NUCOR Steel.

Says Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, "That's the epitome of what the Governor is describing and his vision is for the entire State of Alabama so that Alabama can provide high paying, real quality jobs for all of the people in Alabama who want to work."

The Alabama Workforce Council will be an advisory group of stakeholders from the business sector, education and public policy.

Gov. Bentley says while a 4-year college degree is still essential for many career paths, it is becomming increasingly clear that skilled trades are playing a vital role in the state's economic development. And many of those trades are attainable with a one or two year course of study.