Alabama Governor Proclaims Skilled Trades Week

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Governor Bentley signed proclamation today for Alabama Skilled Trades Week

Montgomery, Ala. – Today Governor Robert Bentley signed a proclamation naming April 23-27 “Alabama Skilled Trades Week” in support of his commitment to rebuild Alabama, recruit new businesses to the state and strengthen Alabama’s infrastructure. Each year “Alabama Skilled Trades Week” will be celebrated the last week of April in conjunction with the annual Alabama SkillsUSA Leadership Conference.

Governor Bentley’s proclamation recognizes the importance of designating a week that acts as an annual reminder to young people about the opportunities available to them in skilled trade careers such as welding, electrical engineering, heavy equipment operation, commercial carpentry and more. The proclamation also brings awareness to the growing shortage of skilled tradesmen in commercial and industrial construction, the impact of this shortage on Alabama’s ability to rebuild and grow, and the training opportunities available for students.

“As we continue to rebuild our state after last April’s devastating tornados, I recognize the importance of bringing attention to the need for skilled tradesmen to help us rebuild,” said Governor Bentley. “We will need skilled workers for years to come not only to help us replace what we lost but also to help our state continue to grow. Recruiting more students to skilled trade careers will improve our workforce, help us recruit business and industry and lower our unemployment rate.”

Skilled Trades Week not only aligns with the anniversary of the April 2011 storms but also falls in the week of the upcoming 2012 SkillsUSA Leadership Conference, where over 1,800 students will gather in Birmingham for a career expo and state championships in trade, technical and skilled service programs.

The SkillsUSA Leadership Conference includes a career expo open to the public on Thursday, April 26, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the BJCC East Exhibition Hall.

Tim Alford, executive director for the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute (ACRI), said, “The governor’s proclamation sends a strong message that opportunities are indeed available in the skilled trades, particularly in commercial and industrial construction. We hope that schools, teachers and parents across the state take this opportunity to introduce students to skilled trade careers.”

In 2009, ACRI implemented the Go Build Alabama initiative to educate young people on the value of learning a trade, dispel their misconceptions about the construction industry and inspire them to consider building a career as a skilled construction tradesman. ACRI aims to provide better opportunities for construction tradesmen, more highly skilled employees for construction businesses and enhanced economic development for Alabama and the nation.

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