Best Practices
December 17, 2010

Alabama Career Awareness Program Helps to Turn Students’ Career Aspirations into Reality

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Alabama Power, a leading provider of electricity to millions of businesses, homes, and industries in the region, uses its leverage as a major employer to promote excellent educational standards in Alabama’s schools and become a catalyst for education reform. To support Alabama Power’s mission to create a vibrant, effective, high quality workforce, the company helped to initiate the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC). This council has created a set of K-12 career awareness initiatives that aim to reach students during key formative times in their grade school experience. Designed for students throughout southwest Alabama, the initiatives are supported by numerous companies and taskforces in the region, who, like Alabama Power, recognize that the future workforce needs training from an early age to reach their full potential.

Fourth grade is a crucial year in a student’s life as they near the end of their grade school years and progress towards middle school. In fourth grade classrooms, students are given the opportunity to experience a presentation called “Wouldn’t It Be Cool.” This aims to link core academic subjects to everyday careers through the utilization of business and industry volunteers. Volunteer presenters offer students a tailored hands-on discussion of each presenter’s career. The video shows actual footage of high-need industries in the region and discusses how reading, math, and science classes relate to each of the careers. Representatives from Alabama Power have participated for the past three years, each time making a strong case for why success in all academic subjects is absolutely crucial to a future career with the company.

"As an electric utility with the opportunity to serve many of the world’s best companies, we are not only interested in the future of our workforce but also in our customers’ satisfaction,” said Sam Covert, area manager of the Mobile division at Alabama Power. “The future of all our success is directly tied to increasing the educational achievements for all our students, especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. We at Alabama Power are proud to join with many others in stepping up to partner with our school systems to ensure that this is achieved."

Learn more about Alabama Power and SAWDC.