Free tech skills course to be offered in county

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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The Chambers County Development Authority is introducing a free opportunity for networking and tech skilling programs for eligible Chambers County residents, tahnks to a partnership with the Center of Rural Innovation. 

The Chambers County Development Authority has partnered with the Center of Rural Innovation (CORI) to foster the initiative to foster rural innovation. According to the website, CORI is an organization that works to “help small towns devise tech economy strategies that support innovation, tech entrepreneurship, workforce development and tech job creation.”

CCDA Director Chris Busby applied and was accepted to the spring 2022 cohort. The Chambers County community was the first community in the southeast to be accepted by CORI. 

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The goal of the initiative is to foster entrepreneurship in minority and underrepresented communities.

“Our goal is to let people know that they can have a career or job or an opportunity in a space that they may not have thought existed for them in small town, Alabama,” Busby said. “You don’t have to move to be in tech.”

Since 2022, the CORI representatives have toured education, industry and other elements of the county for a community profile and best practices platform. Last year, the CCDA and Circle of Care worked together to found the Innovation Center which works to support and boost the technological entrepreneurial efforts of locals. 

Another one of the first steps of outreach within the community is the tech skilling programs. The two certification programs are Introduction to Networks and Introduction to Cybersecurity. The classes are free to the entire community and allows them to work at their own pace. 

Busby said these outreach efforts not only supports local aspiring entrepreneurs but also brings awareness of the opportiunities for techonology jobs available in the community and in the existing industry. 

“Tech jobs are some of the most in demand,” Busby said. 

The program also helps broaden the understanding of what tech jobs are and what they look like in the county. Many of these jobs can be done remotely from Chambers County while others can be found within the factories of industries such as servicing robotic machinery.