Due to COVID19, the Gateway Initiative was forced into a full-time business advocacy role to provide vital information and resources to our investors to help them navigate to the “New Normal”.
As businesses have come back on-line, the Gateway Initiative has pivoted back to its mission of providing programming to accelerate business growth. An example of this programming is evident in the work we are doing with Plasmine Technology, Inc. in Bay Minette.
The Gateway Team was introduced to the executive management of Plasmine through our workforce development partner, Harry Cecil with the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). Harry and his staff had completed a business assessment with the company and determined that they needed assistance in human resource planning, particularly succession planning and training. Harry knew full-well that the Gateway Initiative's apprenticeship model would be critical in helping meet Plasmine’s needs and immediately called a meeting between the company's senior management and the Gateway Initiative team.
Through the apprenticeship registration process, the team worked with management to determine skill standards and to match those skill standards to positions found in the national registry for apprenticeship. Where there was not an exact match, the team created new positions to add to the national registry. Today, a succession plan is in place with performance and skill-based pay increases through each position leading to journeyman status for eight occupations within the company.
Each apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 144 hours of related instruction each year of the apprenticeship. In Plasmine’s case, the Gateway Initiative team knew to bring in Dr. Josh Duplanitis, Dean of Workforce Development at Coastal Alabama Community College (CACC) to design the related instruction. CACC has a learning management system through Amatrol that matches perfectly with Plasmine’s needs at a fraction of the cost of industry-based systems.
As the Gateway Initiative team moves to its new location in the Baldwin Center for Business Development, it’s important for our investors to know that our business assessment and training partners will also be located at the Center. Beginning in the fall CACC will hold classes on the campus to include all Adult Education offerings and also dual enrollment technical training in the fields of construction, HVAC, and manufacturing. ATN will co-locate at the Center as well with Harry Cecil on campus for regular assessment meetings and training. South Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) will also have offices in the new facility.
The Gateway Initiative team and partners are eager to meet with YOU and conduct an introductory assessment and help you find ways to improve your operations. We saw firsthand with impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, locally, that planning and forecasting in all areas of your business model are vital to sustainability. Let us assist you with this for the betterment of your business; for you, your management teams, your employees, and your customers.