Huntsville Participants Launch Toward Careers after ALEX Activation Event

By Matthew Estes, Communications Director

Huntsville, Ala. – On Thursday, more than 100 participants from the Huntsville Day Reporting Center were able to get a step up in their career by attending the on-site ALEX Activation Event. This launch event, a first of its kind in Alabama, provided information and motivation to formerly incarcerated participants looking to boost their careers. Special guest speakers at the event included Bureau Director Cam Ward, J.F. Ingram State Technical College Dean of Instruction Dr. William Young, and Alabama Power Workforce Development Coordinator Jason Watters.

The Alabama Experience, or ALEX, is a mobile exhibit featuring a collection of interactive kiosks and informational pieces, as well as a knowledgeable staff who walk visitors through every aspect of life in Alabama. This workforce development tool allows people to be introduced to building trades, learn about educational opportunities, interact with local employers, and connect to thriving careers in the state. Those interested in finding work are matched to specific industries and introduced electronically to the proper representatives.

Within the trailer, career information available included construction, various trade skills, information technology, nursing, and many other paths. Participants compared the earning potential and cost of living between Alabama cities and cities across to U.S. to plan effectively. Many of the careers have an earning potential of 100 thousand dollars or more. One of the most unique features of the trailer is a collection of virtual reality headsets, which allows participants to experience a normal day on the worksite using a full 360 degree range of motion.

“ALEX offers a tremendous opportunity for bringing reentry and job training efforts to the next level,” said Bureau Director Cam Ward. “We are proud of our work with Alabama Power, the Alabama Community College System and many other stakeholders to get more people ready to fill the in-demand jobs and industries that help move our state forward. I look forward to expanding these partnerships in the future.”

While not in the trailer, dozens of local employers were on-site to meet the participants and offer on-the-spot interviews. Many employers are looking for highly motivated employees, which tend to be successfully filled by individuals supervised by the Bureau. High-quality employment is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism.

The Bureau would like to thank Alabama Power and J.F. Ingram State Technical College, as well as the employers who attended the event, for their partnership in this program. Learn more about ALEX here.