Special to the Opelika Observer

Southern Union’s manufacturing technology program will be adding a new dimension this fall. Joining with area business and industry, the college will unveil its new Apprenticeship Program on July 16, at the Valley Campus.

The first of its kind in Alabama, the program will be housed at Southern Union’s Valley campus. It involves investments by local industry, economic development authorities and SUSCC. The program is a registered apprenticeship program with the Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

“The purpose of this venture is to increase the pool of skilled workers in Chambers and Lee counties,” said Darin Baldwin, Dean of Technical Education and Workforce Development at SU. “This involves a significant investment from our local industries, and we look forward to working with them to produce a qualified worker to meet their needs.”

The first cohort of students will begin the program in August, at the beginning of fall semester. Students will complete a cooperative education program combining classroom-based education with practical work experience at an area industry.

This approach will help ease the school-to work transition for students while providing industry with workers who are familiar with their procedures. Admission into the apprenticeship program is based on an application process.

With campuses in Wadley, Opelika and Valley, Southern Union is one of the oldest two-year colleges in the state, and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. For more information on programs offered by SU’s technical division contact (334) 745-6437, ext. 5316.