Jobs and Skilled Workers Promoted at Chamber Breakfast

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Dec. 14) – Alabama Workforce Council Chairman Zeke Smith and Business Council of Alabama President and CEO William J. Canary spoke to today’s Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues meeting about the important role of the Alabama Workforce Council and the new Alabama Works! promotion.

Smith, chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council, executive vice president of Alabama Power Co., and a BCA board of director’s member, said the council’s role is straightforward: “Our role is to advise and support our education system.”

The council is comprised of 40 members including educators, business and industry executives, and elected officials, who are charged with ensuring that all Alabamians have the capacity to pursue their educational goals and realize long-term career opportunities.

Not everyone wants to pursue a four-year college degree but can choose a technical-skill track in Alabama high schools. After graduation and generally with another year of technical education, young men and women are able to fill available and well-paid jobs, Smith said.

“We promote these skilled-labor jobs that are out there and match them with people with the proper skill set,” Smith said.

That’s where Alabama Works!, unveiled last month, links job seekers with skilled jobs.

Alabama Works! unifies Alabama’s workforce system utilizing key components of the K-12 and two-year college systems, state workforce training and placement services, and industry. The backbone of Alabama Works! is the seven local Regional Workforce Councils, local Alabama Career Centers, and the website

“The Alabama Workforce Council and our partners are focused on helping transform the state’s workforce system to dramatically improve the livelihoods for millions of Alabama families for years to come,” Smith said at the Alabama Works! announcement. “We are doing that today by providing a tool to match the needs of employers with job seekers across our state to grow our economy and raise the standard of living for Alabamians.”

The BCA is a sponsor of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues breakfasts that are held periodically and feature local, state, and national speakers on topics of interest to Alabama. Canary explained the business community’s involvement in education.

“We believe in the opportunity of choice in education for parents and the value of pre-K for children to get an early start on learning,” Canary said. “We want an educated workforce.”