CLANTON – Mayor Bobby Cook and the Clanton City Council on Friday, Aug. 21, announced a partnership with Jefferson State Community College and presented a check to the college for the purchase of a training simulator in the new Workforce Development Center at the Chilton-Clanton Campus.
The Workforce Development Center is a collaborative project involving the city of Clanton, Jefferson State, the Chilton County Industrial Development Authority, the Chilton County Commission, the Alabama Rural Economic Center, Dunn University and private industry in the Birmingham region.
The trade skills gap continues to grow in Alabama despite efforts to develop the academic and technical training needed for available jobs. As one generation enters retirement age, the next generation is not as well-equipped to fill those jobs.
The partnership to form the Workforce Development Center is an example of meeting the needs of employers across the state.
“We must rise to the challenge for our industries in the state of Alabama,” Cook said. “As we look onto the horizon of where the state of Alabama is headed, the city of Clanton is determined to be part of the solution and promote growth and sustainability. Working with Jefferson State, the Alabama Farmers Federation, Chiton County and the IDA, we saw the opportunity to create a unique facility to build a foundation in workforce development. However, the foundation is just the beginning. The potential for the Center is limitless and is only restricted by our ability to foster stronger partnerships throughout the state and grow together for the betterment of our future.”
“Today marks a new chapter for us as we expand our training opportunities into heavy equipment operation,” Jefferson State President Keith Brown said. “We are excited about this partnership and the opportunities it will provide our students and the Chilton County community. This equipment will help Jefferson State provide training that will lead to in-demand jobs and, consequently, improve lives and help meet workforce demands.”
The city of Clanton’s $160,000 donation will be used for a training simulator.
“We are proud of the teamwork felt recently, uniting our industries, our communities and our Alabama Community College teams,” Dunn University President Chris Stricklin stated. “Together, we will build a better, more capable workforce to lead us into the future. Thank you to the motivated and passionate leaders of today who have devoted their time and effort to this innovative initiative!”
“Since the beginning discussions of building the Clanton campus, I have known we were distinctively situated to make a positive impact in the state of Alabama,” business owner and community leader Wayne McKinnon said. “Seeing our campus’s partner into a new project with all of the leaders involved is a pivotal moment for myself and all of the foundational leaders in the City of Clanton.”