Alabama’s ability to deliver a trained workforce is a significant advantage. AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency, is widely recognized as one of the best in field. Since its founding in 1971, AIDT has trained more than 600,000 Alabamians for careers in industries ranging from shipbuilding to steelmaking.
AIDT has developed extensive experience in training workers for the auto industry through years of collaboration with the state’s four global automakers and other industry players. It has established dedicated training centers to support the growth of Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.
In addition, AIDT has project-based training facilities at the former ThyssenKrupp complex near Mobile (now operated by Outokumpu and AM/NS) and at the Navistar/Freightcar America factory in North Alabama. Its Mobile training center focuses on the needs of the chemical industry and other area businesses. A new $7 million aviation training center in Mobile focuses on Airbus.
AIDT has established Centers of Excellence around the state. They include:
- The Maritime Training Center in Mobile – a $12 million facility that opened in 2007 to provide Alabama workers with the skills needed by the expanding shipbuilding industry. The exterior of the 60,000-square-foot facility looks like a freighter loaded with shipping containers, while the open interior resembles a shipyard’s assembly bay. The center is split, with programs for shipbuilder Austal USA operating in one half and other AIDT programs in the rest. The building also has smaller workspaces, classrooms and computer labs.
- The Alabama Workforce Training Center (AWTC) – housed in a 56,000-square-foot former warehouse on Sixth Avenue South in Birmingham, the AWC trains workers for construction, manufacturing and other industries. AIDT teamed with industry partners, the Birmingham Business Alliance, Jefferson State and Lawson State community colleges and other entities to open the facility. It also houses AIDT’S Entertainment Media Production & Crew Training (EMPACT) program, which offers technical training for careers in production.
- The Montgomery Regional Workforce Training Center – launched in 2014 to offer individualized training for workers in manufacturing and information technology to meet the needs of local industry.
- The Forest Products Development Center in Opelika – works with company partners, government agencies and academia to explore solutions to barriers hindering the industry.
AIDT also operates the Alabama Robotics Technology Park, a one-of-a-kind training facility in Tanner.