Alabama's Career Center is always busy with people on the hunt for their next employment opportunity. Chad Wiley is one of them.
"My job at Brookley has closed down because Airbus was coming. It was this emergency mandatory meeting that they wanted to speak to us after the days work. It hit like a bomb at first because we really wasn't expecting that," said Wiley.
After being let go from his previous job of 16 years at McGriff Treading Company, he's hopes the very company that put him out of a job, could be his saving grace.
Wiley was accepted to start Bishop State Community College this summer, majoring electronic technology.
The good news is, a large chunk of his education will be paid for thanks a new scholarship program.
"What we have is dislocated worker funding. Basically it's training scholarships for people who have been laid off through no fault of their own, or maybe they were downsized or their company closed and relocated, and basically we provide job seekers with skilled training and we can pay up to two years or up to 10 thousand dollars for them to get that skills training and then they can apply for jobs locally," said Pamela Ware, the Director of Marketing for Mobile Works.
She says there are no income requirements for the scholarship and it's great for those who have been laid off and want to try a totally different career field.
Russell Ward is a former photographer. With Airbus breaking ground today, he is anticipating a stronger local economy.
"It's been very difficult. It seems to have picked up, but you are going to have to have the training," said Ward.
Many people tell me they hope this sort of "back-to-school reinvention" will be enough to compete in the job market.
Here's a look at the skills training available for the scholarship: aviation, welding, auto body work, carpentry, civil engineering, diesel mechanic, electrical engineering, masonry, nursing, plumbing, surgical technician and truck driving.
And whether you were laid off or not, if you are looking for a job, mark your calendar April 25th. The South Alabama Regional Planning Commission Expo and Jobs Fair will be held at the Mobile Civic Center Expo Hall, from 9am - 2om. Admission is free. for more information visit sarpc.org or call 251-652-0585 or 251-433-6541.