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Apprenticeship program coming to area schools

Both Selma City and Dallas County Schools announced a partnership with the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship on Wednesday morning at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

The program will allow qualified students to “earn and learn” automotive body repair from area body shops including Johnson’s Pant and Body Shop, Hatcher’s Paint and Body Shop, George’s Paint and Body Shop, Auto Beauty Shop, Bolden’s Auto Services and Reliable Cadillac GMC.

Dallas County Schools Superintendent Hattie Shelton called the program a “momentous occasion” for Dallas County Schools nearly two years in the making.

“We are grateful to those who decided to partner with us and work with our students and give them this great opportunity to make sure they are ready to step into the workforce and excel at what they do,” she said.

“Selma City Schools Community Engagement Specialist Courtney Washington delivered remarks on behalf of Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. Avis Williams.

“We are excited about the apprenticeship program and the opportunities it will bring afford our scholars,” she said.

Selma – Dallas County Economic Development Director Wayne Vardaman express a hope that the apprenticeship program would revitalize Dallas County’s workforce by replacing the aging skilled workers who are retiring.

“We are in danger of losing a workforce,” said Vardaman. “Hopefully, this will help with that.”

Dallas County Schools Career and Technical Education Director Jerolene Williams said that student who complete the apprenticeship program would receive certification and experience that would have them ready for the workforce right out of high school.