GORGAS STEAM PLANT SHUTTING DOWN, EMPLOYEES FORCED TO RELOCATE
Reported by WVUA 23 Reporter Lacey Beasley
Written by WVUA 23 Digital Reporter David Williams III
The Gorgas Steam Plant in Walker County is shutting down, and that means some Alabama Power employees could be losing their jobs.
The coal-powered plant has 180 employees, and an Appalachian Regional Commission Power Grant given to Bevill State Community College offers displaced workers in the coal industry a chance at a new career.
“We have worked in our grant,” Al Moore, the dean of workforce solutions and economic development, said. “We included some scholarship dollars to be able to fund some training for folks who work both at Miller and Gorgas.”
The community college is helping retrain the workers for other career opportunities such as truck driving, welding, nursing and electrical programming. The college’s welding program was relocated to The Rapid Response Training Center, which also provides classrooms to meet industry and business demands.
Bevill State plans to stay on alert and help any displaced workers who need assistance, Moore said.
“It is our goal and our effort at Bevill State to be able to respond rapidly to the training needs of industry,” Moore said.
Bevill State President Kim Ennis said it’s imperative for young people to learn different skills beyond a desk and computer in the current economy.
“We need to direct students into a lot of those skills workforce opportunities because they are everywhere across Northwest Alabama at this time,” Ennis said.
If you are looking to start a new career path, Ennis recommends beginning with Bevill’s Student Services Office for guidance.