Job training program to begin in February

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Mayor James Perkins Jr. summed up Monday’s press conference on job training with a proverb.

That’s exactly what Selma is doing with Selma Works &045; a workforce development initiative designed to prepare people not only for upcoming Hyundai-related jobs, but also for positions left open when people leave for those Hyundai jobs.

Perkins said that Lear Corporation had already signed a letter of intent indicating its commitment to locate multiple tier two suppliers in Craig Field Industrial Park. &uot;The key word to this is ‘multiple,’&uot; Perkins said. &uot;We’ll just have to see what ‘multiple’ means.&uot;

Groundbreaking for the facility is expected in the next 30 to 45 days.

According to Dr. James M. Mitchell, president of Wallace Community College Selma, Selma Works will assess the needs its participants. &uot;We recognize that people coming in won’t have the same ability level,&uot; Mitchell said. &uot;Some may need a GED. Others might need to learn how to fill out an application.&uot;

The program will take one to six months to complete. Applications for Selma Works will be available in January. The program starts around Feb. 2.

Selma Works just lays the groundwork for job readiness. Mitchell said Selma Works graduates will continue training with Alabama Industrial Development Training, a group that will ready people for specific jobs within Hyundai.

Mitchell noted that $100,000 for daycare and transportation for Selma Works participants had been gained by State Sen. Hank Sanders. When in-kind benefits were included, the amount jumped to around $500,000.

Selma Works is the result of several years of changing developments. Perkins said Selma had qualified for a number of projects that could improve the area’s chances of recruiting industry. Those projects included $2.5 million for an industrial access road and a $5 million bond investment for recruitment at Craig Field Industrial Park.

However, a change in Alabama’s administration caused the city to return to the qualification table and begin the process anew. Selma didn’t qualify for the Alabama Works Training Program.

That led to Saturday morning meetings between Perkins, Sanders and Mitchell to hammer out a solution. &uot;Selma Works is our answer to workforce development,&uot; he said.

Questions about Selma Works can be answered at 876-9393.