As the end of the month approaches to launch our new job board, Gateway to Career Connections, we need job seekers to build profiles and are working hard to market this to high school students and employers. Gateway presented to the principals in south Baldwin County to get their teachers and students 16 and older excited about finding summer jobs or internship opportunities in our area.
We also presented our new partnership with Talk Hiring, a software company that promotes job readiness with virtual mock interviews. We are hoping to help our students understand that in order to get jobs with career-growth and good pay, they must learn how to interview well.
Dr. Josh Duplantis, Dean of Workforce Development for Coastal Alabama Community College, presented to the principals on programs that Coastal offers such as dual enrollment, building maintenance, the Collins program, and apprenticeship.
For nearly 10 months a team of tourism, chamber, workforce and education professionals have been working on a plan to bring critical resources to our area to enhance our workforce. We have prepared a proposal to request American Rescue Plan funds from the State of Alabama for a workforce campus in South Baldwin County. This campus will include short term rental housing for 2,000 people, an extended hour child care facility, a transportation hub, along with an education component to include a two and a four year college.
The Gateway Team is working with Opportunity Alabama to develop a comprehensive proforma for investment for the South Baldwin Workforce Development campus. As part of the data collection required, we are surveying employers to gather the following information:
- Zip codes of current employees and those who worked in 2021 to determine commuting patterns
- Data on housing currently provided or subsidized for employees by the employer including rents charged
- Employers interest in subsidizing employee housing proposed on the South Baldwin Workforce Campus
The Gateway team routinely works with area high schools to organize and promote job and career fairs for students. In addition, the team works with area employers to develop career paths and competencies necessary for students to learn while in school in order to be successful in the job market. On February 23, Gateway organized a first-of-its-kind job fair where students from three schools participated in one location. The fair was held at Foley High School with students attending from Foley High, Elberta High, and South Baldwin Christian Academy. On the 24th a career fair was held at Gulf Shores High School with Gateway assisting to bring more than 50 businesses there to recruit.