By Glenn Collins
Saturday, March 6, 2010 | 12:03 PM
|Alabama State Board of Education Member Gary Warren, Chamber President Stan Watson, and AIDT's Ed Castille at the Haleyville Chamber meeting, Friday, March 5, 2010.|
Ed Castille with Alabama Industrial Development and Training spoke to the Haleyville Chamber Friday. Speaking of chambers and similar organizations, Castille said, “You guys are the real economic development power in (Alabama).”
AIDT fulfills a vital role in Alabama’s efforts to attract new industry to the state. Its mission is to locate and train the workforce for industry. Castille said that when he talks to potential industry, he says to them, “If you come (to Alabama), we’ll find your workers and train them for you, at no cost to you.” AIDT is a member of the Alabama Community College System.
All of Alabama has to remain “razor sharp,” he added, from the K-12 system all the way through the university and adult education. Only 7 per cent of the jobs in Alabama are available to those without a high school education or GED. “Most are minimum wage,” Castille said. Only 11 per cent are available to those with a high school diploma or GED. If a person adds some form of education or training that is above the high school level, 65 per cent of the jobs in Alabama become available. Castille called on “… all of us to improve the state.”
Alabama has 950,000 residents without a high school diploma or GED. That is approximately 20% of the population. Currently, there are 24,000 people in adult education programs.
For more information on AIDT, you can access its website [HERE].