Over the past several months the Gateway Initiative has been collaborating with the Alabama Community College System and the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Association (ARHA) on a short-term training credential intended for entry-level hospitality workers.

The Gateway Initiative team partnered with two local restaurants and the Foley Police Department to provide meals to over 700 healthcare workers at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, September 8th.

Along with a local task force, Gateway is working with our municipalities and state elected officials to receive federal and state funding to build a tri-city workforce campus.

While the permanent population of the tri-city area of Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is approximately 40,000 people, the region contributes more than $90 million in retail sales and lodging tax revenue to the state of Alabama’s general fund each year. Current conditions are putting that revenue in danger and, if not addressed, could cause an economic downturn for the entire state.

With grant money from the Community Foundation of South Alabama, Gateway has partnered with the South Baldwin Literacy Council and TransferVR to receive 5 Virtual Reality Oculus headsets. Gateway and the Literacy Council proposed a “Career Exploration” program to TransferVR, to help students and adults alike to discover, tour, and train in different professions such as Automotive, construction, Hospitality, HVAC and many more. This training is assessed in the headset and each individual is scored.