October 6, 2009

Funding Received for Plumber’s Apprentice Program

Northeast Alabama Community College President Dr. David Campbell recently announced that the college will receive just over $120,000 of federal recovery funds under the Governor’s Recovery Act Skills Training Program. These funds, which are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, are administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development.

This grant will provide funding to operate a Plumber’s Apprentice Career Track training program to adult and displaced worker clients in Jackson and DeKalb counties referred through the Alabama Career Center System. The 144 clock-hour-long course of study will allow students to move quickly into an internship program and progress quickly to journeyman status.

“As part of an agreement with the Alabama State Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board,” stated Dr. Mike Kennamer, Director of Workforce Development at NACC, “the training that students receive in our program will count as one year of the normal apprenticeship requirement.” This, according to Kennamer, means that students who complete the program will be able to progress to journeyman plumber after one year of work.

The first of three planned training sessions will begin in late October. Students selected for the program will not only receive their training at no cost to them, but will also receive books, uniforms, and tools as part of the program. “We want to equip these students to be able to hit the ground running once they complete the program,” stated Kennamer.

According to Alabama Occupational Projections 2014, job growth for plumbers and pipefitters in northeast Alabama is expected to be slow and steady through 2014, with 1.63% growth per year. It should be noted, however, that a boom in construction locally could mean much faster growth.

“As we know, our area has been hard hit by plant closings and layoffs,” stated NACC President Dr. David Campbell. “We have sought out programs that can provide some training opportunities for area residents that can get them on the road to new jobs and careers. This is a new area for us, but if some anticipated construction projects in our area materialize, this program could really flourish. We are appreciative of those who are funding and supporting this program at the federal and state levels, particularly the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Region II Workforce Council, and the Alabama State Workforce Planning Council.”

For more information about the Plumber’s Apprentice Career Track Program at NACC, contact Julie George at or phone ext. 214. Because this is a federally-funded program, only those individuals who qualify through the Alabama Career Center System will be accepted into the program. Prospective students must visit their local Career Center office to apply. Alabama Career Centers are located in Scottsboro, Fort Payne, and on the campus of NACC. The Alabama Career Center on the Northeast campus may be reached by telephone at 256-638-2239.
Northeast Alabama Community College campus