As Huntsville grows, Drake State aims to train skilled workers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As we head into the new decade the Tennessee Valley is continuously growing. With the growth comes the need to fill open jobs. With a wide range of opportunities, it can be a challenge to recruit the needed skilled workforce.

There are several different approaches coming together to get jobs filled. People are moving in from out of state to work, but there is also a need for local skilled workers.

Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville offers workforce training for adults looking for a new career.

Regina Burden is the Dean of Student Services at Drake State Community and Technical College.

“We offer certificates so if someone just needs to enhance or improve their skills, they could just come and get a short certificate, which could be as short as 6 or 9 credits all the way up to the associates, which could take up to two years,” Burden said.

They have a state-certified Ready to Work program to provide workplace environment training. This allows participants to develop the skills necessary to find a job.

Those who complete the program earn two certificates: the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) and the Alabama Certified Worker Certificate (ACWC). These certificates document specific skills and aptitudes and give job seekers an advantage over the competition.

In order to obtain the NCRC, you must successfully complete three WorkKeys assessments. The school said the assessments test the skills required for more than 85% of all jobs.

WorkKeys is a national online assessment series developed by the American College Testing Program, Inc. (ACT) to document and improve workplace skills and measure skills that employers believe are critical to job success.

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Drake State also has a Workforce Development Division.  It is designed to provide workforce development for local employers. These programs include Alabama Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education.

The Workforce Development program is made up of two parts, training for existing business and industry as well as continuing education and adult skills training.

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