Dallas County partners with AIDT to boost employment

Economic leaders looking to reduce unemployment rate

DALLAS COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - For close to 40 years, countless military planes took off and landed at what used to be Craig Air Force Base in Selma. Now people like Jim Corrigan want to see another set of careers soar.

“Anyone ready to enter the workforce or want to re-enter the workforce is open and available," said Corrigan, executive director for Craig Air Field and Industrial Authority.

Corrigan and Wayne Vardaman believe the AIDT program could be the ticket for those eager to work.

“The Ready To Work program offers applicants soft skills, if you will, to be able to perform a job,” said Wayne Vardaman, executive director for Selma-Dallas County Economic Development Authority.

Inside the trailer, there are two rows of computer stations, all geared towards polishing up skills needed and demanded by employers.

“Let’s learn about how to stay in employed.. how to do an interview.. how to be financially responsible,” said Corrigan.

Vardaman says there is no doubt there are plenty of opportunities in Dallas County.

“I got companies right now ready to hire,” said Vardman.

For example, just one year ago, the companies in the county led the state in capital investments and well over 5,000 people travel to Dallas County everyday to work. There are 500 jobs available in Dallas County, all waiting to be filled, but the problem is a segment of that workforce isn’t ready.

Either not ready or don’t want to work. So many have been splintered by life’s challenges yet Corrigan is a firm believer a little effort could go a long way. Since the program started one week ago, nine have signed up.

“I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. Take a realistic look at where you are and where you want to be," said Corrigan.

Corrigan and Vardaman believe the opportunities are there for the taking if those willing to try will take the first step.

The latest economic statistics show businesses in Dallas County have invested more than $600 million in expansions in recent years. The AIDT class was closed Monday due the post-Easter break. The mobile classroom is scheduled to remain at Craig Air Field for six weeks and the programs are free of charge.

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