“Even in times of COVID and social distance, proximity to the clients and a deep integration with the workforce entities in an area allow relationships to be built and joint efforts to flourish,” he added.
The funding arrives at a time for growth for Alabama’s apprenticeship effort, which has been expanding into new industries as part of the COVID-19 recovery. In June 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded Alabama a $1.3 million, three-year grant to support the expansion of apprenticeship efforts among members of difficult-to-serve special populations.
The new funding comes through the U.S. Department of Labor’s “Building State Capacity to Expand Apprenticeship through Innovation” program.
“We are extremely proud of the work our apprenticeship staff are doing as they work tirelessly to stand up our state apprenticeship agency, the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship,” said Ed Castile, deputy secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce and head of its Workforce Development Division.
“Receiving this grant at this moment in time is extraordinarily important to the work and will help expedite the development of our Alabama program,” added Castile, who also serves as director of AIDT.
At AOA, Laney teams with industries and education providers across the state to develop and expand traditional and industry-recognized apprenticeships for youth and adults.
He also leads the AOA’s support of larger workforce development infrastructure for Alabama to identify and promote the recognition and use of valuable credentials.
“The AOA is very pleased to be able to secure funding from the U.S. Department of Labor for the expansion of apprenticeship in Alabama,” he said.