By WVUA 23 Reporter Kinsley Centers

<p class=”x_MsoNormal”>Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey toured the Pickens County College and Career Center on Wednesday to support technical education and the effort to enhance the workforce and economic development. This facility provides advanced hands-on training through six career technical program areas offered, including agriscience, welding and health science.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>The state of Alabama is working to add 500,000 skilled workers to the workforce by 2025, and Ivey said career and technical education plays a major role in achieving this.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>On Wednesday, students demonstrated what they do in these programs and shared what they have accomplished with Ivey and her team.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>“I appreciate the work that all of you are doing to move our state forward and your willingness to work with me,” Ivey said. “Education and workforce development are priorities for me.”</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>The mission of the facility is to instill confidence in students and set them up for success in the workforce by teaching skills like being on time, maintaining eye contact and shaking an employer’s hand, said Principal Shawn McDaniel. He said these programs provide students with a direct pathway after school to quickly enter the workforce.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>“We see students connecting the reality of the workforce and being motivated an inspired to go forward and serve in their career,” McDaniel said.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>These programs allow students to earn credentials or dual enrollment credit with the facilities partnerships with Bevill State Community College and the University of West Alabama.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>Pickens County Schools Superintendent Jamie Chapman said they are doing what they need to do for the students and the community.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>“We feel like we are meeting that need, we feel like we are ahead of the curve in what we’ve done here back in our planning in 2013 and 2014 and we have systems all over the state of Alabama coming to look at what we’re doing here,” Chapman said.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>Some students are receiving job offers and some have jobs already lined up for post graduation. Chapman said he looks for more to come for these students.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>Kaley Hall, a biomedical student, said she’s thankful for what the program has done for her education.</p><p class=”x_MsoNormal”>“It gives us a higher learning level than what the high schools would do and we get to go deeper into the career fields that we want that like we’re interested in,” Hall said. “Here like with our health science biomedical we wouldn’t be able to do this stuff at our own schools.”</p>

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