Baldwin County has 9,727 adult residents that have yet to achieve a high school diploma. Coastal Alabama regularly serves this population through classes at multiple sites throughout the county including Gulf Shores, Foley, Bay Minette, Fairhope, Silverhill and Seminole.
This service allows residents at varying levels of skill to work with a qualified instructor to meet their goals. These classes required 100% face to face interaction until COVID-19.
Chmura Economics, one of the top secondary sources for labor data, updated their COVID-19 Vulnerability Index to account for new information. In Chmura's newest model, Baldwin County ranked seventh among MSAs most vulnerable to the economic impact of COVID-19 through job losses. Unfortunately, many of these job losses have affected residents of our county who lack a high school education or postsecondary credentials. Coastal Alabama was proactive in moving these services 100% online in a matter of days. Thanks to the help of our Baldwin County Chambers of Commerce and other partners, like the Gateway Initiative, dozens of these residents are now enrolled in programs to address their educational needs with the ultimate goal of getting that high school diploma or equivalent or gaining measurable skill with English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.
Also included in the adult education platform are occupational skills courses, which are anchored by our signature Alabama "Ready to Work". Ready to Work provides a career pathway for individuals with limited education and employment experience. The Ready to Work workplace environment provides trainees the entry-level skills required for employment with most businesses and industries in Alabama. Training is provided at no cost to participants. Ready to Work curriculum is set to standards cited by business and industry employers throughout the state, and the skills cited in the U. S. Department of Labor’s Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) Reports. Upon successful completion of the program and earning 70% or higher on comprehensive assessments, graduates will receive the Alabama Certified Worker (ACW) Certificate, issued by AIDT, and the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC), issued by ACT. Once these certifications are achieved, students earn a free course at Coastal Alabama that they can use towards an additional certificate or a degree program.
In addition to the Ready to Work classes, Coastal Alabama is providing entry-level credentialing in some of Baldwin County’s core industries. The core credential for The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) is being offered 100% online along with the Certified Production Technician credential administered by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). Other classes offered include Microsoft Office Specialist including training in Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and Office Administration.
A rising tide lifts all boats and there is no doubt that raising the education level of our populace is a benefit to our residents, our existing business and industry and prospects that may one day call Baldwin County home. Residents interested in these newly formatted programs can fill out the Adult Education Intake Form HERE to have a team member call or visit the website at www.coastalalabama.edu/adulteducation and to find the Intake Form.