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Workforce Development Initiatives Train Talent for Today and Tomorrow

In an increasingly complex economy, the skills and talent of a community’s people will determine its economic future. That’s why we’re committed to a robust workforce development strategy that supports the recruitment, training, and retention of highly skilled individuals to serve our employers’ needs.

58 INC has been at the grassroots of many of the innovative workforce development initiatives being implemented in the Birmingham region such as the U.S. Department of Labor Registered Manufacturing Apprenticeships in Advanced Manufacturing and the High School Ready to Work Program.

By partnering with employers, educational institutions, and training providers, our mission is to build a world-class workforce for Shelby County’s future. Learn more about our talent advantages below and how we’re working to build a workforce for tomorrow.


Total Shelby
County Population


2020 Annual
Average Wage


Shelby County Civilian
Labor Force




Living & Working
in County




Labor Force Participation
Rate (Civ. Population 16+)

Comparative: 63% US / 57% AL


Total Labor Force
Within 60 Min. Drive Time

(60-Mile Drive Time from Shelby
County Population Center)


Percent with Bachelor
Degree or Higher

Comparative: 18% Higher vs. Alabama
/ 11% Higher vs. US

Sources: US Census, JobsEQ

Innovative Workforce Development Solutions

Manufacturing Apprenticeships Initiative

A collaboration of public and private sector organizations have developed three new US DOL Registered Apprenticeships to serve manufacturers in Shelby County and the Birmingham region. Through a partnership between Jefferson State Community College, Lawson State Community College, Central Six AlabamaWorks, the Central Alabama Partnership for Training and Education (CAPTE), Alabama Career Centers, and a consortium of companies, new apprenticeship programs have been established in CNC machining, industrial maintenance, and welding. These collaborative workforce programs are supported by federal and state grants. Seventeen registered apprentices are currently enrolled in the program at four different local employers. A new pre-apprenticeship pathway was created in 2020, allowing students to complete coursework in advance of applying for the Registered Apprenticeship and on-the-job training. For more information, visit

High School Ready to Work

Ready to Work (RTW) is a career exposure and soft skills training program that provides participants with the skills needed to be successful in today’s workplace. RTW is now being offered to seniors in eight area high schools by combining workplace readiness training with employer-driven curricula and career exposure through company engagement in the classroom and industry tours. The RTW 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.

AIDT Leadership Training

Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), 58 INC, and The Shelby County Chamber are proud to offer a series of online leadership courses focused on skills that all leaders, supervisors, or managers need to be more effective such as leadership, communication, teamwork, and leading multiple generations. Companies in the Shelby County area are invited to send personnel to this training course. Spots are limited to the first 20 participants. Attendees must pass a written exam at the end of the course to receive AIDT’s Certified Leader Credential. There is NO COST for this training. A new schedule of classes is released each year.

For more information on course content click here.

To access the training schedule and register your employees click here.

Career Exposure Events

Career exposure for high school students is a critical component of our workforce development strategy. 58 INC, The Shelby County Chamber, and our local K-12 schools systems collaborate on a variety of programs for K-12 students including Manufacturing Industry Tours and hands-on career exposure. Students can become familiar with a broad range of high-demand, high-wage career opportunities with local employers. For more information on career exposure, contact Melody Whitten

Shelby County Career Corps

Thanks to funding provided by the Holle Foundation and CAWACO, 58 INC and The Shelby County Chamber are able to offer the Career Corps program, which provides local K-12 educators across all grades, disciplines, and functions the opportunity to spend three full days in business or industry. During this time, educators are exposed to the wide variety of jobs that exist for their students while also discovering how to make their subject matter relevant to the workplace. This three-day externship allows educators to experience firsthand how industries operate, the skills and education levels employees need to perform work, how jobs can be career ladders to other positions, how leadership skills can elevate career opportunities along with pay rates and benefit packages that can provide excellent quality of life. Educators are only placed in Alabama’s top-demand occupations in target industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, professional services, construction, and transportation / distribution/ logistics as established by the Alabama Department of Labor.

North Central AlabamaWorks!

The North Central AlabamaWorks! Local Workforce Board serves as the mechanism for implementation of Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programming and administration of WIOA funds for a six-county region that includes Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount, Walker, and Chilton Counties. WIOA is a federal program that was signed into law in July 2014 and ensures that the public workforce system operates as a comprehensive, integrated, and streamlined system to provide pathways to prosperity for those it serves and continuously improves the quality and performance of its services. Programs are fully funded with federal funds made available to the State of Alabama Department of Commerce by the US Department of Labor. 58 INC is actively engaged in the board’s effort to help individuals find good jobs and stay employed while improving employment prospects for success in the global marketplace. For more information on Alabama’s WIOA structure, click here.

Innovate Birmingham

Innovate Birmingham is a grant-funded workforce development program initiated by UAB designed to meet the IT workforce needs in the Birmingham region while also harnessing the potential of underemployed and unemployed residents by offering training for free. IT skills and credentials can be obtained in a variety of formats.

  • Accelerated programs in coding and data analytics are boot camps designed to be completed in less than four months. 
  • The Technology Apprenticeship program prepares individuals for a successful career in software development by combining related instruction with paid work experience and mentorship resulting in a nationally recognized credential over a period of years. 
  • Degrees and certificate programs allow for full-time tech-related students to receive scholarships while pursuing qualifying majors or minors at UAB, Jeff State, or Lawson State. 

For more information about how to enroll or serve as an employer partner, click here.