TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Dozens of West Alabama educators grabbed a hard hat and suited up to tour Nucor Steel’s Tuscaloosa plant Thursday.
It’s a key part of the Educator Workforce Academy plan that pairs educators and businesses to better prepare students to get good paying jobs in Alabama.
It’s an effort by West Alabama Works to school teachers on how to prepare their students to get good paying jobs.
"It helps me understand what the industry needs the students to be able to do and then I go back and tell my teachers," according to Tripp Marshall, the administrator for the Brookwood Career Tech Annex in the Tuscaloosa County School System.
He is in the second group of superintendents, principals and others who make up the Educator Workforce Academy.
'When you really look at what education is, it's actually preparing our students for the jobs in Alabama. And so we're very focused on making sure there's a great synergy," Donny Jones, Executive Director of West Alabama Works explained.
The academy lasts a year.
During that time, they'll have four sessions where the group goes to a business to learn what the industry needs from the students to eventually hire them.
Nucor Steel Controller Reed Norris said they place a priority on things like a good work ethic and having a positive attitude.
"In the beginning, we're helping ourselves because they're taking what they learn today and put that in the lives of students who we hire years later," Norris felt.
"We have created that connectivity, the bridge between industry and education," Marshall added.
Eighty-five educators are in this year's Educator Workforce Academy.
They must come up with a plan that uses what they’ve learned to help students improve their chances to get a job to complete the program and graduate from the academy.