Shoals Chamber, UNA Offer Workforce Readiness Institute for Student Teachers

The Shoals Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the University of North Alabama, offered its first, abbreviated Workforce Readiness Institute to sixty graduating seniors from the UNA College of Education this week. Since 2008, the Shoals Chamber has offered this program to classroom teachers, counselors and administrators. This marks the Chamber’s first partnership with UNA to offer the Institute to students that will soon enter the classroom.

The Workforce Readiness Institute provided these aspiring teachers opportunities to network with local industry leaders and learn how local businesses apply math, science and other academic subjects to their operations. The students also learned more about the increasing demand for and decreasing supply of technically skilled workers, as well as the career paths and salary ranges to which these skills lead. 

“We are excited about this new partnership with the UNA College of Education and Human Sciences and commend all the work Dean Kinney and Christy Waters put in to provide our program to their students,” said Shoals Chamber Vice President of Workforce Readiness Stephanie Newland. “The Institute’s ultimate goal is to help students see the connection between what they learn in school and how they apply that in the workplace. The more workforce education our teachers and counselors have, the more they can help students make wise coursework, college and career decisions.”

“This experience was extremely informative,” said participant Anna Beth Kimbrough. “I can take the information I learned from the program and guide my instruction in multiple ways that will benefit my students.”
The Institute included industry tours of G&G Steel, North American Lighting, Walker Family Farms, TASUS, FreightCar Alabama, Southwire’s “12 for Life” and the Shoals Business Incubator.

This program is provided through grants and sponsorships from the University of North Alabama; Walker Family Farms; Listerhill Credit Union; Walmart on Hough Rd, Florence.