The College is committed to serving its community as the primary provider of workforce development education and training. Through its Workforce Development Division, the College provides a number of services and programs designed to provide workforce development for employers located in the College’s service area. These programs, described in the paragraphs below, include Tech Prep, Training for Existing Business and Industry, Continuing Education, and Adult Education.
Workforce Development is comprised of two major components: (1) training for existing business and industry, and (2) continuing education and adult skills training, as explained in the following paragraphs.
J. F. Drake State Technical College, in partnership with the Huntsville City, Scottsboro City and Madison County School systems, formed the Tennessee Valley Tech Prep Consortium. Tech Prep is intended to provide the majority of students with an educational pathway that includes a strong academic foundation, career awareness and exploration, and the advanced career/technical skills needed to enter the modern workforce. The Consortium employs a full-time Project Director, housed at J. F. Drake State Technical College, to work with each school system, plan and direct activities, and interface with the business community and the public. The Tech Prep Director also coordinates the College’s participation in the Chamber of Commerce’s School to Career Partnership and directs the operation of the College’s WorkKeys® Service Center.
As part of our Tech Prep efforts, J. F. Drake State Technical College has developed detailed articulation agreements with neighboring school systems. These agreements allow students to make a smooth transition to college work, giving college credits for skills and knowledge already acquired. If you are a high school graduate who completed a career/technical program while in high school you might have already earned some college credit. Be sure and ask if you might be entitled to some college credit due to these articulation agreements.
The College, through our involvement in Tech Prep, takes part in a wide range of activities to support and encourage more students in obtaining the academic foundation and specific career/technical skills needed in today’s workforce. Students at both the high school and college level have access to computer tools and other sources of career guidance resources and are encouraged to include work-based learning as part of the educational process. To better link our efforts to the needs of the local business community as well as to better serve the needs of our students, the College is a WorkKeys® Service Center. As such, the Tech Prep Director can offer businesses Job Profiling services to accurately capture the skill levels required for their jobs and can test both workers and students using the WorkKeys® exam to provide them a realistic assessment of their skills before obtaining employment.
In today’s highly technical business world, workers will require high level technical and advanced problem solving skills. Tech Prep provides the College and our partnering school systems with a unique opportunity to insure that our programs and course offerings provide our graduates with these critical skills.
Training for Existing Business and Industry
The J. F. Drake State Technical College training for existing business and industry program interfaces with local business and industry in establishing courses and programs dedicated to specifically identified community employment and cross-training needs. Local industries are contacted on a regular basis for the purpose of determining their training concerns as well as making them aware of the institution’s training capabilities.
Industry partners of the College regularly seek specialized training to be coordinated and provided by the College, utilizing the College’s existing training resources. As a result of this interaction with industry, the College is able to assess market demand for the local service area to determine the training that the institution should provide, whether through Training for Existing Business/Industry (TEBI) programs or regular program instruction.
The College also partners with Alabama Industrial Department Training (AIDT) to provide customized training for new or expanding industries in Huntsville/Madison County, Alabama.