MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - On Thursday I attended the 32nd Annual Economic Summit, an event where speakers talk about issues impacting business in the River Region.
We learned that although Alabama has done a great job attracting new industry, one of the major factors, a skilled workforce, is still an area in which we lag behind other states.
Locally, one of the efforts to address this is the new dual enrollment partnership between Montgomery Public Schools and Trenholm Tech, which will get high school graduates certified for careers.
I believe programs such as this and, in general, the re-inventing of what we call vocational high schools is the answer to creating a skilled workforce as well as addressing the drop-out and unemployment rate.
New learning methods and environments, career path exploration, workforce demand driven programs… a lot is being done at some innovative high schools across the U.S. The Madison County Career Technical Center in Huntsville is an example.
Students and parents should be given an early opportunity to find a life direction that fits best. High schools should be designed to facilitate whatever path the student wants.
When this builds a more skilled workforce pool, more industry will locate in Alabama, and everybody's boat will rise with the economic tide.