Central Six AlabamaWorks! The Healthcare industry sector partnership “cluster” was founded in 2017 and includes representation from regional healthcare systems, local hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and home & hospice facilities. The partnership meets quarterly to gather and share data as it relates to their labor force and collectively determines solutions, strategies, and actions necessary to address those challenges.
Over the past few years, the partnership has successfully, increased engagement with K-12 students and employers through increased participation at the annual Worlds of Work at SkillsUSA event. See our Worlds of Work page to learn more! (Link to WOW page). The partnership, in collaboration with Onin Group, has launched the regional High School Ready to Work program to create a talent pipeline of recent high school graduates into entry-level healthcare careers. Moreover, members of the partnership are able to take advantage of workforce funding resources through agreements with the local Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act provider (Central Alabama Partnership Training and Employment) and the local Career Centers.
Central Six AlabamaWorks! Manufacturing industry sector partnership “cluster” currently has more than 40 active industry partners. This partnership consists of representatives from across the six-county region working in advanced manufacturing, automotive manufacturing, and modern manufacturing.
This is one of our most critical partnerships as manufacturing is our second largest labor demand across the region. Currently, the cluster is working collaboratively to support the upskilling of existing workers and to increase entry-level opportunities. The cluster has identified the need to support apprenticeship models in manufacturing and is serving as employer partners for machining, welding, and industrial maintenance consortium apprenticeship models. The sponsors for these apprenticeships include: Welding (Jefferson State Community College and Lawson State Community College), Machinist (Lawson State Community College) and Industrial Maintenance (Central Six AlabamaWorks!). For more information on Manufacturing, please contact Johnathan Byrd at [email protected].
The Central Six AlabamaWorks! Information Technology (IT) industry sector partnership “cluster” began in July 2018, in partnership with Innovate Birmingham’s Birmingham Tech Council. A wide range of IT companies was invited to join, including software development, insurance, and finance employers.
As the IT industry sector continues to rapidly grow in our region, the Birmingham Tech Council is working to address the labor shortage along with the skills gaps. Based on recent survey data from Burning Glass Technologies and our industry partners, the greatest workforce need across the region includes: software developers, data analytics, and cybersecurity. Using this information, the cluster determined the need to introduce the apprenticeship model in the IT sector. Early 2019, Innovate Birmingham, with Central Six Alabama Works serving as the sponsor, the cluster successfully launched the first Software Development Registered Apprenticeship Program in the state of Alabama. Members of the cluster also expressed a need to develop a data analytics talent pipeline. In response, Innovate Birmingham developed the Birmingham Data Analytics Bootcamp. As both programs have been successful, we are continuing to explore workforce models to help address the need for skilled talent within the industry.
The Central Six AlabamaWorks! Construction Cluster relaunched in January 2019 and members include contractors, subcontractors, and training providers. The Central Six Construction Industry Cluster meets quarterly to collectively discuss their current workforce needs and utilizes this information to develop workforce solutions for their specific needs.
For example, employers within the cluster needed frontline workers at their companies. Central Six conducted a mini-hiring fair specifically for those employers, where they were able to meet with 58 recent graduates of the AIDT Construction Trades program where the participants learned one of five trades: HVAC, Welding, Carpentry, Electrical, and Masonry.
The members also expressed interest in deeper engagement with the local K-12 systems. We utilized the Educator’s Workforce Academy to create Construction Industry Day, which gave the employers the chance to educate superintendents, principals, CTE directors, and teachers within the region about opportunities within the Construction Industry. In addition to the Educator’s Workforce Academy, our members within the cluster participate in the High School Ready to Work Program, a direct line of employment for graduating high school seniors.
Moreover, members of the cluster are able to take advantage of workforce funding resources through agreements with the local Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act provider (Central Alabama Partnership Training and Employment) and the local Career Centers. Keeping our partners updated on the resources available have increased their use of federal training dollars and offset some of their new hire costs.