Riley awards grants to boost skills at Montgomery County plants

MONTGOMERY, AL., -- Grants awarded by Gov. Bob Riley will enable 143 workers at three businesses in Montgomery County to learn new job skills that will boost their job security and help their companies become more productive.

Three grants totaling $149,750 will help Norment Security Group, Sabel Steel Service and Webster Industries train workers to streamline production, increase workplace safety and manage employees more effectively.

"A highly skilled and efficient workforce is key to survival in the competitive global economy," Riley said. "I am pleased to help these Alabama workers learn new skills that increase their value to their employers."

A $49,925 grant will help Norment train 35 employees in methods to reduce production costs and improve workplace communication. The company provides security systems for commercial, industrial and government facilities. Company officials estimate the training will increase sales by 10 percent and boost employees' long-term wages by 4 percent. Norment is contributing $84,387 toward the training cost.

With the aid of a $50,000 grant, Sabel Steel will provide human resources and management training to 55 employees. The company, which manufactures steel products and recycles scrap steel, has promoted many employees who could benefit from formal management training.  Some workers also will receive crane safety training. The company is contributing $67,469 toward the training cost.

Webster Industries will use a $49,825 grant to help train 53 workers to reduce production downtime, increase plant safety and improve employee communication. The company manufactures plastic containers and bags for food storage. Webster officials estimate the training will boost employees' long-term wages by 10 percent. The company is contributing $262,071 toward the training cost.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to Alabama by the U.S. Labor Department.

Riley notified Faye Arthur of Norment, Jim Gober of Sabel Steel and Clevette Ellis of Webster Industries that the grants had been approved.