Lawmakers Create Bill to Help Apply for Workforce Training Campus Grants –

Lawmakers Create Bill to Help Apply for Workforce Training Campus Grants

The South Baldwin Gateway Initiative, a collaboration between local chambers of business, businesses, Orange Beach – Gulf Shores Tourism and others has taken a big step forward with its plan for a workforce training campus. work in South Baldwin which would provide much needed accommodation for up to 2,000 people. seasonal workers, an education and training center and transportation services for employees. At least $214 million would be needed to fund the project.
To that end, local state senators Chris Elliott and Greg Albritton sponsored a bill creating the South Baldwin Workforce Development Authority, a public entity to raise federal, state, and local funds on behalf of the campus project. The Initiative envisions property owned by the City of Foley in the undeveloped portion of its industrial park on the west side of the Beach Express, half a mile south of US 98.
“Our Baldwin County legislative delegation worked hard for us to get SB336 through both the Senate and the House and signed into law on the last day of this year’s session,” said Ed Bushaw, vice president of development. manpower for the Authority. “The Authority will be governed by a board of directors made up of business people and will have the participation of the mayors or their delegates of Foley, Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. This step is important for the many steps that follow, but it is crucial to making the proposed campus a reality.”
The Authority will begin raising funds for the project by soliciting US bailout funds, federal grants and private investment.
Additionally, the University of South Alabama and Coastal Community College have agreed to open on-campus locations, and Gulf Regional Early Childhood Services will operate daycare on site.
Bushaw said SBGI hopes to have a full budget for the campus this summer, which will help it secure grants.
While much more needs to be done by then, SBGI hopes to start a transportation program using smaller vans and campus residents for business purposes. This program would be fully subsidized by federal transportation subsidies.
“We are also currently working with the three cities to designate planning funds so that we can take the next steps in this process,” Bushaw said. “Rest assured that we will leave no stone unturned to move this project forward. We understand the need and importance of this campus to support and grow businesses in South Baldwin County.”
Pictured: The South Baldwin Gateway Initiative recently awarded companion status to the Panini Pete group of restaurants, which includes Panini Pete’s, Sunset Pointe and Squid Ink. The program provides a career path where employers can develop and prepare their future workforce.