Businesses eyeing Birmingham apprenticeship program

Birmingham Promise business impact

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Wednesday, Mayor Randall Woodfin touted the plan to give free college tuition for Birmingham city school graduates. It’s all a part of the Birmingham Promise campaign.

"It is time for the city to be bold. What better way to be bold but to invest than to invest in our youngest generation,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said.

An apprenticeship program is also a part of the promise initiative which gives juniors and seniors a chance to get a job with a Birmingham company. They will make $15 per hour. The hope is that it will help fill the many vacant jobs in the city and give them a real-life job experience along with training.

"I think that’s a very big thing that a lot of businesses are very interested in, because its filling a direct need in their workforce. It’s literally grooming that next generation of talent,” Ty West, with the Birmingham Business Journal said.

West tells us businesses have been buzzing about the promise campaign for months now. He says this investment could pay big dividends in the community.

"We’ve heard a lot of optimism about this in the business community because they view it as investment not really just in the student themselves but an investment in the future of the workforce, investment in the economy and an investment in Birmingham City Schools,” West said.

The apprenticeship is a pilot program. This past summer 20 students took part. We’re told the ultimate goal is for the city to partner with the private sector to fund these apprenticeships in the future.

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