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Bureau of Pardons event launches participants on path toward careers

HUNTSVILLE – More than 100 participants from the Huntsville Day Reporting Center took steps toward new lives through a first-of-its-kind career Activation Event.

(Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Contributed)

This launch event provided information and motivation to formerly incarcerated participants looking to boost their careers.

Guest speakers included Bureau of Pardons and Paroles Director Cam Ward, J.F. Ingram State Technical College Dean of Instruction Dr. William Young, and Alabama Power Workforce Development Coordinator Jason Watters.

The Alabama Experience, or ALEX, is a mobile exhibit featuring interactive kiosks and informational pieces, as well as a knowledgeable staff who walk visitors through every aspect of life in Alabama.

(Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles contributed)

“ALEX offers a tremendous opportunity for bringing reentry and job training efforts to the next level,” said Bureau Director Cam Ward. “We are proud of our work with Alabama Power, the Alabama Community College System and many other stakeholders to get more people ready to fill the in-demand jobs and industries that help move our state forward.

“I look forward to expanding these partnerships in the future.”

This workforce development tool allows people to be introduced to building trades, learn about educational opportunities, interact with local employers, and connect to thriving careers in the state. Those interested in finding work are matched to specific industries and introduced electronically to the proper representatives.

(Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles contributed)

Career information included construction, trade skills, information technology, nursing, and other paths. Participants compared the earning potential and cost of living between Alabama cities and cities across to U.S. to plan effectively. Many of the careers have an earning potential of $100,000 or more.

One of the features of ALEX is virtual reality headsets, which allow participants to experience a normal day on the worksite using a full 360-degree range of motion.

Dozens of local employers were also on-site to meet the participants and offer on-the-spot interviews. Many employers are looking for highly motivated employees, which tend to be successfully filled by individuals supervised by the Bureau. High-quality employment is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism.

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