Apprenticeship program for skilled workers in Tuscaloosa will open soon

New learning center in West Alabama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Professionals walked through classrooms Monday that will soon be filled with the next generation of skilled workers in West Alabama.

“The retirement age of workers now are catching up with us. We just need more workers. So this is a way to recruit those and give them the training they need,” Gary Phillips explained.

Students who are already working in jobs that include plumbing, electrical, HVAC and others can take classes here to get better at what they do. In turn, they’ll earn more money.

“It’ll take you several years, but then you can apply for your journeyman’s test and actually become that journeyman. And $75,000 to $80,000 plus, $100,000 average is nothing to be talked about, is what these guys are making in these skilled trades. That’s important for people to know. If you really want a great career, this is the place to start,” Donny Jones, the President and CEO of West Alabama Works told WBRC.

This training center is a partnership between Premier Service Company, West Alabama Works and the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship. Experienced pros will be responsible for teaching younger workers.

“That’s the thing, it’ll increase the pool, increased the trained employees. It’ll help us all, every contractor,” according to Phillips, the owner and President of Premier Service Company.

The employees who are students pay $10 a week or $520 a year to enroll in the course. It takes four years to complete. Classes start next week.

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