Apple-supported Ed Farm workforce training program gets award – AL.com


A Birmingham initiative supported by Apple was one of the inaugural recipients of an award for programs preparing Alabama’s future workforce.

The AlabamaWorks! Innovator Awards were presented to several programs last week as part of a virtual conference. The awards were developed in part to help advance Gov. Kay Ivey’s goal of adding 500,000 highly-skilled workers to Alabama by 2025.

One of the recipients was Ed Farm, a program teaching Birmingham students and adults to code and get involved with technology. Apple CEO Tim Cook came to Birmingham earlier this year to tout the program.

The award winners were recognized as programs that use innovative programs to pass on skills. Ivey said the awards were conceived in the pre-COVID-19 world, but the significance of these programs has been enhanced further by the pandemic.

AlabamaWorks! Innovator Awards

The inaugural AlabamaWorks! Innovator Awards were developed to recognize people and programs across the state taking an innovative approach to workforce development.

Other recipients included:

WeeCat Industries – a simulation that allows students to clock into work, run an assembly line, fill orders, check invoices, meet production quotas, interview for new positions and implement quality control.

Tiger Mochas – an Auburn City Schools program involving special education students and volunteers that teaches work and soft skills.

A Baldwin County program that helped develop the state’s first registered hospitality and tourism apprenticeship program.

A Colbert County Schools program involving 2020 National New Teacher of the Year Beth Brumley to provide healthcare industry skills to students.

The Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement (SAFE), which gives job seekers occupational and employability skills.

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Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Mike Daria, for increased career tech enrollment, supporting local Worlds of Work events and the Educator Workforce Academy.



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