Million dollar workforce development efforts in Alabama community colleges

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Alabama school representatives are calling on the state to pour millions of dollars into helping community colleges prepare students to enter the workforce.

News 3’s Ashley Garrett is digging deeper into the needs of some of those colleges in our area.

The Alabama Community College System board of trustees is pushing for a 20 million dollar budget increase for workforce development.

The trustees approved the System’s Legislative agenda as part of a 28 and a half million dollar requested budget increase.

Chris Blackshear, an Alabama state representative met me at one of the schools that could be affected, Chattahoochee Valley Community College.

Blackshear explains workforce development.

“Put people out there that has a specific skill and a trade and put someone well-paid, well-seat position and put them in a professional environment,” says Blackshear.

Blackshear says, other schools in our area will be affected if the request gets passed by the Legislature.

“Southern Union in Wadley, Opelika’s their main campus now. You have Central Alabama Community College..Alexander City area, right outside of Auburn/Opelika,” says Blackshear.

“Students at Chattahoochee Valley Community College say they’re excited for the changes to come. One thing they’re hoping to get more of is more advisors.

Students say, teachers not only teach but they serve as advisors as well.

“Balance both their teaching jobs and the advisor for hundreds and hundreds of students. It distracts them from teaching and it takes away from the students who have to wait for them to get done with their classes,” says Adrienne Driggers.

Representative Blackshear says the next course of action is coming in February.

On the seventh, representatives will go in to session.

That will determine what can and cannot be done when it comes to the workforce development efforts.

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