Alabama State Representative Napoleon Bracy Jr. is the Manager of Diversity, Inclusion, and Affirmative Action at Austal USA in Mobile. Austal is a shipbuilding company that manufactures commerical and military ships, and is not only the 5th largest shipyard in the United States but is the largest aluminum shipyard in the world! In this segment, Representative Bracy discusses how Austal is reaching underserved populations and preparing a quality, trained workforce through registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships. Austal 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).
Following a successful six-year initiative, American Graduate, focused on increasing the high school graduation rate in Alabama, Alabama Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), launched a new phase of this project in 2018 called American Graduate: Getting to Work. APT is partnering with schools and businesses to help prepare students with the skill sets and training needed to be part of the new workforce, especially in high-demand fields. An extensive set of resources can be found at aptv.org/AmGrad. Included on the website are videos about students who have found their way to careers thanks to various innovative school programs, job apprenticeships, and other career training.