GUNTERSVILLE — In her inaugural address, Gov. Kay Ivey said improving education would be a top priority for her administration along with workforce development and job creation. In line with that mission, she and several other state officials took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking in Guntersville on Thursday for Snead State Community College’s new workforce skills training center.
“Folks, it’s no secret workforce development is at the heart of my administration's priorities,” Ivey said at the ceremony. “Our economy and workforce needs are ever evolving every day that passes with more world firms planting their roots [in Alabama]. It’s imperative that we do our part to ensure they have an adept, hard-working talent pool to hire from.”
According to Snead State president Joe Whitmore, the new 45,000-square-foot facility will help facilitate the area’s business and industry’s training needs, which, based on survey data and meetings with local industries, includes programs such as welding, industrial systems technology, machine tool technology, and HVAC/refrigeration.
“Very soon, this 50,000-square-foot facility will begin training Alabamians to excel in in-demand jobs … all of which are real pathways that have been identified as critically needed here in Marshall County and throughout the state of Alabama,” Ivey said.
Last year, as part of her “Strong Start, Strong Finish” initiative, Ivey allocated $4,000,000 toward the project “to ensure that all Alabamians have the opportunity to attain skills and credentials necessary for in-demand jobs.”
“Folks, getting this $30 million facility funded was a collective effort,” she said.
Ivey thanked Alabama Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville), U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth — each spoke at the ceremony as well — for their efforts in making the project a reality. She also thanked Marshall County Schools for donating the land for the facility.
“We have historically had a very low unemployment rate, and Governor, thanks for your leadership. That’s in large part due to your work, Governor,” Aderholt said. “But in order to maintain that success, we’ve got to make sure that we have a workforce that is ready to do the job, and that’s where this all comes in.”
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