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Jakoby Taliferro | Career Forward Alabama

Meet Jakoby Taliferro, the future of welding! Jakoby is a welder at Austal USA in Mobile. He attended Williamson High School Maritime Academy from 10th-12th grade. While in high school, he participated in a summer internship after his junior year and a pre-apprenticeship program during his senior year. Welders are in high demand in Alabama, and participation in pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships is a growing trend for many youth and young adults across the country.

Pre-apprenticeship programs are designed to prepare students to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship or other high-quality apprenticeship program, and ultimately a career. Apprenticeships include industry-specific, on-the-job-training, and classroom theory taught over a one- to four-year period. Apprenticeships offer opportunities to earn a salary while learning the trade skill necessary to succeed in high-demand careers. Most importantly, upon completion of the program, apprentices have a transportable A-Class credential recognized by the United States Department of Labor that will increase high-wage earning potential. Annual income for welders ranges from $30,000 to $60,000, with an annual mean wage in South Alabama of $48,608.

Austal USA is a shipbuilding company that manufactures commercial and military ships and is reaching underserved populations and preparing a quality, trained workforce through registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. Austal USA trains employees on-site, serving as an Eligible Training Provider through partnerships with the AIDT Workforce Development Program, the Alabama Community College System, and Mobile area high schools. Training is funded in part by Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as well as through the Southwest Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment (SWAPTE) and state training dollars.  

Students who are interested in pursuing a pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and/or a career in welding are encouraged to reach out to their school counselors or career coaches. Interested adults are encouraged to connect with their local community colleges or career centers, where they can learn more  about career options and available funding for approved programs at area colleges and other local training providers through WIOA. Learn more about how businesses can participate in and receive incentives to establish apprenticeship programs and/or become Eligible Training Providers from Alabama Works.