What is Career Technical Education?

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs prepare individuals for a wide range of careers that reflect the contemporary workplace.  CTE adds to our students’ education and success.  As we strive to prepare every south Alabama student to be college and career ready, CTE provides our greatest collective opportunities for creating a skilled, knowledgeable, and productive future workforce.

A major objective of the Gateway Initiative is to link Baldwin County businesses to job prospects that are technically proficient and career ready.  We have established (and continue to facilitate) employer advisory committees by career cluster to advise us as to what they determine as necessary skills and credentials of value for job prospects.  We then advocate within the Baldwin County school system, the Gulf Shores school system, Baldwin County private schools, and Coastal Alabama Community College for the development of training programs that meet employer needs and require completion of credentials of value.  Another goal is to advocate for as many dual enrollment courses as possible for career technical programs where college credit is granted for high school coursework.


Local High School Career Tech Programs & Academies


For Employers

The Gateway Initiative in partnership with the South Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) manages the workforce development efforts of South Baldwin County.  A dedicated SAWDC Project Manager provides cluster management, project coordination, case management/tracking, and maintains persistent attention to the workforce needs of the employer members. Regional focus areas include: Hospitality & Tourism, Advanced Manufacturing & Construction, Aviation & Aerospace, Healthcare, and Maritime.

Business leaders from each focus industry are encouraged to participate in regular consortium meetings to ensure that training programs are established and remain current to satisfy industry needs and to develop collaborative recruitment strategies.

  • Get involved in local education programs - ask me how (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
  • Skills and certifications are available locally - find local talent right out of the classroom
  • School and program sponsorship opportunities (check out which programs are closest to your business) (link to career tech programs by school document)


For Students / Parents

Baldwin County offers a variety of High Demand / High Wage Jobs right in your backyard, including relevant training programs for these jobs. If your child is interested in learning more about these programs, contact >>>Our Team<<< or reach out to the career coach at your student’s school.

  • Career Coaches:
    • Morrell Baxter - Foley & Daphne High Schools - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Jasmine Philyaw - Elberta & Baldwin County High Schools - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Denise Harrison - Orange Beach & Gulf Shores High Schools - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

>>>Financial Literacy Nights for Kids 7+ and Parents through CACC (starting 2/15/21)

Learn more about career opportunities and focus areas in our region:

Hospitality & Tourism

The hospitality industry is one of the key clusters in Southwest Alabama. This cluster employs highly-skilled workers in the region who earn on average $69,500 with a high school education or higher. Alabamians whose first job was in Hospitality and Tourism obtained an average career salary of $81,900. Hospitality and Tourism supports roughly 60,000 jobs in Southwest Alabama.

Check out the industry snapshot below and the career pathways in resort and hotel management as well as culinary restaurant management for more information about a career in Hospitality & Tourism.

  • Industry Snapshot - Career Facts You Should Know!<<<
  • Sample Career Pathway - Resort & Hotel Management<<<
  • Sample Career Pathway - Culinary Restaurant Management<<<

Advanced Manufacturing & Construction

The manufacturing cluster in South Baldwin includes a wide range of advanced manufacturing, HVAC and recreational marine companies. Process manufacturers in the region include leading producers of aluminum, chemicals, and related products.  HVAC companies are numerous in the region and thrive on the needs of the hospitality and tourism industry.  Recreational boating companies encompass yacht service and repair as well as recreational and fishing vessels.

With South Baldwin being part of one of the fastest growing MSAs in the country the construction industry here is booming.  Single-family housing, apartment complexes, vacation homes and condominiums are under construction throughout South Baldwin with strong employment projections for decades to come. This cluster employs highly skilled electricians, mason, carpenters who are in high demand earning a great living wage and beyond.

Aviation and Aerospace

The aerospace industry is one of the key clusters in Southwest Alabama, and includes several of the largest employers in the region. This cluster employs highly-skilled workers in the region who earn above average wages. The aerospace industry bolsters the Southwest Alabama regions reputation as a leader in high technology and innovation.


Southwest Alabama is home to a vibrant healthcare community that includes not only health care providers but researches and educators as well. The healthcare industry is a stabilizing force in the regional labor market that can stay strong and expand employment throughout the economic cycle. The healthcare cluster provides world-class treatment for residents in Southwest Alabama while also providing challenging and rewarding jobs.


Southwest Alabama supports a major maritime cluster, spearheaded by its renowned shipbuilding industry. The Mobile Bay gives the region a natural advantage to propel and sustain this highly competitive cluster. The maritime cluster includes not only shipbuilding, but port activities and the economic activity generated by water transportation enterprises.


For Educators

  • Career pathways COMING SOON!
  • Connect your students with local jobs - Contact Ed Bushaw @ (251) 943-1062 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or check out our >>>Jobs page<<<
  • Ready to Work
    • Ready to Work is a soft skills training program that provides participants entry level skills needed for employment for more information visit https://alabamareadytowork.org/
  • AIDT Career Development Courses
    • Alabama Industrial Development Training is partnering with courses to provide Alabamians with a transformational learning experience that empowers you to thrive at your job, develop a new skill, and drive positive change in your career development.  All courses are free of charge through December 2020.  For more information visit https://www.aidt.edu/learn/