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Livingston pushes workforce plan to Business Council of Alabama

MONTGOMERY – Nobody can accuse Senate Majority Leader Steve Livingston of not being focused on business at hand.

With 13 days left in the 2024 legislative session, Livingston (R-Scottsboro) is clearly focused on representing Alabama, even if it means eliminating ideas from other Alabamians with different ideals than the ones he approves.

Addressing the Business Council of Alabama at its “Tuesday Morning Issues Briefing,” Livingston said now that the Senate has taken care of some of the issues “threatening Alabama values,” the chamber is transitioning into the second phase of his first session as Majority Leader.

“We went into this session with the understanding that our Alabama values are under attack, and our role as lawmakers is to defend the rights of Alabamians,” he said. “I think that is exactly what we have done so far. Over the next 13 legislative days, we are shifting gears and going back to work for the people of Alabama.”

The BCA attendees discussed Working for Alabama, the Alabama Workforce Transformation Act and “Back to work for Alabama,” an indication of the Legislature’s focus for the next two weeks.

This year’s legislative workforce package, better known as “Working for Alabama,” covers what Livingston says is one of Alabama’s most significant economic challenges: its Labor Force Participation Rate.

“Last year, the Game Plan gave us the best economic incentives in the South East and is helping to attract all kinds of business investments, economic development, and jobs to the state,” he said. “It is time to refocus our efforts on working for Alabama and getting Alabamians into those jobs. 

“Both sides of the aisle are geared up and ready to tackle barriers to workforce entry and retention, streamline our development efforts, and position Alabama to continue dominating on the national stage.”

Livingston’s bill in the package, the Alabama Workforce Transformation Act, will rename the Alabama Department of Labor to the Alabama Department of Workforce and consolidate other workforce development agencies under the department.

By consolidating and aligning Alabama’s workforce development strategy, Livingston says the state will develop a more cohesive approach to recruiting, training, and employing workers.

“Right now, you have duplication of services across state agencies and confusion among job seekers and employers about where to access resources. Creating a single point for our workforce increases accountability and improves efficiency,” Livingston said. “When we streamline Alabama’s workforce development system to operate together, we can place Alabamians into meaningful employment.”

The bill advanced out of the Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday. Livingston detailed the six other bills in the package and commended the Senate Republican Caucus for their engagement in the legislative process.

“Any one of the things we have accomplished so far would have been a hefty load for one session, and we are far from done. We are well on our way to successfully passing each of the priorities we outlined ahead of the 2024 Legislative Session,” Livingston said. “We’re prepared to hit the ground running and start moving these pieces out of committee this week.”

 

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