MONTGOMERY — For the second time in less than two months, Lawrence County received an economic boost Wednesday from Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
Ivey announced a $1 million grant that will help provide Lawrence County students with solid labor skills while, according to a press release from ADECA, also meeting Alabama’s demands for a capable workforce.
In August, ADECA cited Ivey as playing a role in providing $2.5 million to the county for
construction of a plant that will produce panels for solar power. First Solar plans to hire
more than 700 workers with the financial boon.
The money in both instances will come from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
The Lawrence County Board of Education will use the funds to expand the Career Technical
Center by constructing classrooms for training in welding, automotive technology and
“Alabama’s robust economy presents an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to seek skilled training to obtain a good paying job,” Ivey said. “The expansion of the Lawrence County Career Technical Center will make possible beneficial technical training for local students as they prepare for careers upon graduation.”
The $6.2 million, 20,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on the campus of Lawrence
County High School in Moulton and will serve students throughout the school system.
In addition to classrooms for welding, industrial maintenance and automotive technology, the building will have a robotics media room that can be used for career fairs, business and industry meetings, conferences and other workforce activities.
ADECA administers the ARC program in Alabama.
“It is pleasing to see multiple projects coming to fruition that will benefit Lawrence County and north Alabama,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to join Governor Ivey in support of these projects, and I commend local and regional leaders for their cooperative efforts that are paying dividends.”
ARC is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The agency’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socio-economic parity with the nation. Thirty-seven Alabama counties, including Lawrence County, are part of the ARC region and eligible for funds.
ADECA manages a range of programs that support law enforcement, economic development, recreation, energy conservation and water resource management.