BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - One Walker County school wants to address a growing demand for a trained and skilled workforce.
Each day students arrive at the Walker County Center of Technology in Jasper. The students leave their high school and come here to learn a particular job skill.
“I’d say my favorite thing about this class is probably hands down the shop. I love working with my hands,” Brennen Griffin of Carbon Hill High School said.
Griffin is learning about electrical engineering. Another student has her eye on becoming a registered nurse with a small amount of time spent in a four year school.
“In health services we get to help people. I want to help people. I want to help. I want to make people feel better. I want them to be better when they are hurt,” Blakely Julian of Carbon Hill High School said.
The Center of Technology wants to start as early as the eighth grade to line up those students who want to learn a job skill without going to college.
“Create viable pathways so students can make an inform decision on what they want to do with their life and we can teach them that skill to get to the next level,” Chris McCullar, director of WCCT said.
The center is teaming with companies, unions and associations for job apprenticeships and internships.
“I know so many that went to a four year school and have not found a job,” McCullar said.
Students like the program.
“It makes me feel good. I want to do what I want to do instead of going to work and not be happy,” Griffin said.
Griffin already has his career goals mapped out: get an apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical workers and then a job with Alabama Power.
The program currently has 700 students. McCullar wants expand it.