Vocational Training & Economic Development
The leaders of the AHDC recognized, long ago, the need for vocational training opportunities in rural areas such as ours. We have seen the challenges that low-income residents face in finding and securing long term employment. With the highest unemployment rate in the region, according to the Clay County Economic Development Council, and 25.1% of Clay County adults missing a high school diploma or equivalent, many of them simply do not qualify for the jobs offered nor do they possess the skills necessary to break through to success.
To meet this need, the AHDC plans to open a Carpentry Training Center (CTC). The CTC will teach the necessary skills, and provide technical and professional training to program participants so that they can become a valuable asset to our local employers, industries and community. The CTC will be a self-sustaining model that produces quality wood products that are marketed and sold through traditional wholesale and retail distribution channels, and will provide employment opportunities for all aspects of the production process; basic and advanced carpentry, sales, marketing, and administration.
To insure our success, the AHDC has built partnerships with local government, industry, employers and educators. The AHDC is currently applying for a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission that will provide additional resources. We are also working to develop a partnership with Central Alabama Community College system and the Alabama Future Workforce Initiative program which will provide dual enrollment opportunities for students, as well as equipment, training and materials. Accredited instructors will be recruited so that high school students participating in the Carpentry course would receive college credits, along with valuable trade skills and knowledge so that they will be ready for employment opportunities upon graduation from high school.