Path to Success displays the importance of career readiness in the K12 school system to foster progress in West Alabama.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – West Alabama Works launched its Path to Success campaign to challenge West Alabama students and parents to consider different journeys to success. View the campaign here.
“A majority of people don’t understand that many high-paying jobs in West Alabama require a two-year degree or less. Some consider career technical education (CTE) as ‘shop for jocks,’ instead of highly-skilled, competitive coursework,” West Alabama Works Executive Director and Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama Chief Operations Officer Donny Jones said. Jones is a member of Governor Kay Ivey’s appointed CTE Task Force.
Technical jobs make up a large portion of the state’s workforce, with 13 percent of Alabama workers in the manufacturing field alone, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Those in the manufacturing industry earn on average over $69,000 annually in Alabama, showing technical careers can lead to a sustainable future with little to no college debt.
“I was kind of lost, and I didn’t know which direction to go. I went to Shelton for the WOW (Worlds of Work) events, and I met people who introduced me to a couple different directions I could go,” said Holt High School graduate and Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy alum Megan Coleman. Coleman was selected for an apprenticeship in industrial welding from the Local 372 Plumping and Pipefitters. Through her apprenticeship, Megan will earn a technical degree at no cost at Shelton State Community College, and she will receive training in the most competitive field in welding. She attributes the annual Worlds of Work Career Expo and CTE to her success. Local 372 is affiliated with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States, Canada, Australia and Ireland.