HANCEVILLE, Ala. – A new career technical dual enrollment tax credit will allow more students to enroll in programs that are preparing them for high-demand, high-wage jobs.
The tax credit was the subject of a news conference held at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville on Thursday. Representatives from the Department of Postsecondary Education, the local legislative delegation, business and industry, other elected officials were in attendance at Wallace State’s Electronics Technology building.
“This announcement is one that will contribute to the development of a highly-skilled workforce in the state of Alabama and in our workforce region,” said Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics. “In order to generate a consistent supply of highly-skilled workers, it is critical that citizens have access to educational training opportunities that are closely aligned to regional workforce demand. Those educational training opportunities begin in secondary education and continue into the community colleges in this great state.”
More than 85 percent of Alabama’s jobs require some level of education beyond high school, so Thursday’s announcement is another stepping stone in helping students to be become fully prepared for the
New legislation allows businesses and individuals to donate funds for career technical dual enrollment and receive tax credits for up to 50 percent of the donation not to exceed $500,000 nor an amount greater than 50 percent of the taxpayer’s Alabama income tax liability. Donors can direct that up to 80 percent of contributions be allocated to specific career technical programs at a particular institution. workforce.
“We know that when we talk to people in Alabama about what is important to them, it’s jobs they’re most interested in. The things we are doing in Alabama right now help show that we have business and industry at the table who are sharing their needs for the future. As a legislature, we are committed to fulfilling the needs of jobs in Alabama,” said Representative Mac Buttram (R-Cullman). “We are responding to what their needs are, and it’s a great benefit to students and the industry. It’s an investment in our economic development efforts, it’s an investment in these young men and women who are our future workforce and our tomorrow for many, many years. This is a win-win situation for the citizens of Alabama, and the only losers are the other states who are wanting to keep up with us.”
Added State Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman): “It’s a good day in Alabama, it’s a good day for industry in Alabama, it’s a good day for children in Alabama and it’s a good day for Alabama in general. As a legislature, our prime concern is allowing our businesses to have high quality, paying jobs in the state of Alabama. Our goal is to make Alabama the place to go in the world for industry through development and research. This is one issue that we feel is very important.”
Rep. Randall Shedd (R-Cullman) announced an additional dual enrollment scholarship he will be sponsoring through the Wallace State Future Foundation.
Other keynote speakers during Thursday’s press conference consisted of Terry Waters, Senior Executive Director of Workforce and Economic Development for the Alabama Department of Postsecondary;
Albert von Pelser-Berensberg, plant manager at Rehau in Cullman; Dale Greer, Assistant Director of the Cullman Economic Development Agency, and Jordan Rivers, a Wallace State alum and a current maintenance technician at the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn.
Rivers, an Addison High graduate, graduated from the Wallace State Electronics Technology program in 2013 and he expressed his appreciation Thursday for the benefits he has enjoyed career-wise after enrolling and graduating from a career/technical field. “If you told me that at 22 I would be making $22 an hour, and next year I’ll be making close to $30 an hour, I wouldn’t believed it,” he said.
Wallace State currently serves students from 26 area high schools in Cullman, Blount, Jefferson, Morgan, Walker and Winston counties through its dual enrollment programs and the Fast Track Academy.
Career/technical dual enrollment scholarships are available to Wallace State students enrolling in one of the following 18 programs: Agriculture/Horticulture, Automotive Manufacturing Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Business/Office Administration, Collision Repair, Culinary Arts, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Diesel Technology, Electronics Technology (Mechatronics), Engineering Technology, Flight Technology, Heating and Air Conditioning, Paralegal, Precision Machining/CNC, Upholstery/Interior Refinishing, Visual Communications and Welding.
Students awarded the career/technical dual enrollment scholarship may begin taking courses the summer after their 10th grade year.
Students interested in career/technical as well as academic and health care fields may also apply for Wallace State’s Fast Track Academy. The Fast Track Academy is a joint partnership between Wallace State and local school systems which allows high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to simultaneously enroll in secondary and postsecondary coursework on the campus of Wallace State. The courses meet state requirements for high school graduation while also providing the general education requirements for the certificate and associate degree programs. Students in the Fast Track Academy can often finish their certificate or associate degree in a career field before they graduate high school.
Like career/technical dual enrollment, which leads to an Associate in Applied Science degree or certificate, Wallace State also offers dual enrollment courses in academic areas of study for students pursuing the Associate in Arts, Associate in Science or academic transfer credit. Starting this fall, health science dual enrollment courses will be offered online leading to an Associate in Applied Science in Health Information Technology and certificates in Pharmacy Technology and Polysomnography.
For more information about dual enrollment opportunities at Wallace State, contact Diana Majerik, Director of Dual Enrollment, Fast Track and Off-Campus Programs, at 256.352.8050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOVE: 1) Rep. Mac Buttram discusses the Career Technical Dual Enrollment Tax Credit and his reasons for sponsoring the bill, which recently became law
2) Several of the platform guests at pictured here, from left – Albert Von Pelser of Rehau, Rep. Randall Shedd, Rep. Mac Buttram, Sen. Paul Bussman, and Terry Waters of Postsecondary
BELOW: 1) Dual Enrollment Press Conference, from left: Alabama State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter, Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Hawsey Karolewics, and Annette Funderburk of the Department of Postsecondary Education
2) WSCC alumus Jordin Rivers, a former career technical dual enrollment student now working for Nissan
3) Industrial Electronics instructor Joe Hendrix and members of his class listen to the press conference
6) IMG 3628: Sen. Paul Bussman engages in a conversation with Wallace State’s Wayne Manord, right, and Alabama Technology Network representative Perry Shields.
7) IMG 3629: Rep. Mac Buttram, left, and Rep. Ed Henry talk with guests at Thursday’s press conference at Wallace State.
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