More money to prepare students for growing construction industry - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

More money to prepare students for growing construction industry

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

More Alabama contractors are back to work. They're looking for skilled workers and wanting to build the industry from the ground up starting with high school students.

Local contractors say there are workers but not skilled ones. 

There's now additional funding for high school programs to give students on the job training.

"There's a lot of opportunities to go into construction. It's just raw. We need to find a way to direct these people who are interested in construction," said Billy Norrell, CEO of Alabama AGC.

There may not be "help wanted" signs at construction sites. But construction companies are looking to hire.

The governor's College and Career Ready Task Force is putting hammers into more high school students hands each year. There's been a 30 percent increase in enrollment in tech and dual enrollment programs. At least an additional six million is in the state's budget to expand the program.

"Dual enrollment is very important, so students in high school can get a two year degree when they leave high school. It's very important. I'm really proud of that," said Governor Robert Bentley.

Students in elementary school are even getting introduced to construction through the "I Have a Hammer" program at the McWane Science Center.

The programs are creating excitement in the construction industry.

"On the job training and hitting the ground running early in high school is a great opportunity for your to build a career," said Norrell.

The task force was created just a year ago. The governor says it's a great recruiting tool for businesses looking to locate in Alabama.

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