Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Forum discusses local work force development

Bob McKenzie from the Alabama Center for Civic Life speaks at a forum to discuss the area's economic future at the Anniston-Calhoun County library. Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star

Two hours may not be enough.

About 20 members of the local business and education community gathered Tuesday morning to discuss Calhoun County's economic future.

Bob McKenzie, from the Alabama Center for Civic Life, led the conversation but urged those attending to continue it beyond the Ayers Room at the Anniston-Calhoun County Library.

"It's the difference between a wedding and a marriage," he said. "Most of us here can control our lunch hour. We have to broaden out efforts to continue what we want to do."

The Calhoun County Community Foundation cosponsored Tuesday's forum, which focused on finding the best ways to train the next generation of workers.

The group looked at four options compiled by the National Issues Forums for making sure companies have a skilled, local labor pool:

• Use schools to impart character education and workplace skills.

• Focus schools on math, science and technology education.

• Partner schools with businesses to train children for locally available jobs.

• Train children to be "big-picture" thinkers rather than train them for repetitive tasks that will soon be done by computers or by workers in other countries.

See the full story here.

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