- An Alabama state agency offered to assist with recruiting, screening and training efforts for 4,000 employees as part of its successful effort to attract a Toyota-Mazda plant near Huntsville, The Decatur Daily reports. Officials from Alabama Industrial Development and Training (AIDT) expect to see up to 40,000 applicants for the 4,000 job openings.
- AIDT, an agency of the state's Department of Commerce, estimates the value of training employees at several million dollars, according to its director, Ed Castile. The initiative will rely on partnerships with local community colleges and universities, including the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and Athens State University.
- One of the biggest anticipated skills needs in advance of the plant's opening is robotics, The Decatur Daily said. The Alabama Robotics Technology Park, an AIDT facility, will provide instructors, and both Toyota and Mazda will supply internal trainers.
The past year has seen a number of state and local entities partnering with both private companies and non-profit organizations in an effort to improve local workers' skill sets and create more attractive talent pools for new business arrivals.
Such arrangements make a ton of financial sense for communities; training is an expensive operation, especially when insufficient or unnecessary sessions lead to wasted resources. There's also the cost of failing to retain employees after they’re trained. But the ability to direct a constant applicant stream to one or more partner organizations, even as employees leave or retire, could offset countless other business costs.