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Workforce Under Construction Part 8: Craft Training Act

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To help meet the industry’s workforce needs, the Alabama Legislature recently passed the Craft Training Act. Known officially as Act 2015-308, the legislation creates a long term, statewide, stable funding source for flexible skills training. “This bill is important to our industry,” said Selective Masonry President Jonathan Watts, who is also on the program board. “This shows that our voice is being heard by our state legislature as it relates to a lack of a skilled and trained workforce.”

The program, which will be administered by the Alabama Building Commission, will be paid for by increasing the fee on building permits by $1 per $1,000 of project value. Industry leaders estimate that approximately $3 million to $5 million could be generated annually to train workers.

Recommended to Governor Bentley by the Alabama Workforce Council, the bill created a board to oversee the money and provide grants for training providers statewide. It’s expected that the Alabama Building Commission will begin collecting the additional fee in October 2016. “I’m excited that we are getting this assistance to train employees,” said Marathon Electrical President Bruce Taylor, who also serves on the program’s board. “I’m also excited to be on the board and will have an opportunity to help make sure this money gets used in the right way with the right people for the right reasons.”

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