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Elevate Parks & Recreation (Tree & Green

Skilled Trades of West Alabama

Updated Feb 20, 2024

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With a mission to build a highly skilled, qualified and prepared workforce for the construction industry in Tuscaloosa and beyond, the academy offers opportunities for apprenticeships, pre-apprenticeships and other related training in the construction trades. With a high demand for and shortage of skilled, ready-to-work employees and tradespeople, opportunities exist to build high-paying, successful careers.

Why Skilled Trades?

  • Recognized, award-winning training and development model 

  • Non-profit organization led by relevant industry employers

  • On-the-job training coupled with classroom instruction

  • Experienced, qualified instructors

  • Instruction aligned with construction industry standards

  • Leads to licensing, journeyman, and other applicable credentials

  • Designed to supply the growing workforce demand 

  • Minimal or no costs to participants

  • Apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs registered by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeships and U. S. Department of Labor

As of January 2023, Skilled Trades maintained an estimated 85% completion rate.

Elevate's partnership with the Skilled Trades Academy will allow expansion of training in the construction trades for local citizens to gain meaningful employment, and impact unemployed and under-employed citizens. Elevate funding will directly benefit the students by contributing to their employability, career path definition, and sustained personal growth and development.

Starting in the fall of 2022, The Skilled Trades Academy has partnered with the Tuscaloosa City Schools system to offer a 9 week elective course to local high school seniors. This course allows students the opporunity to earn credentials towards the OSHA 10 safety program, recieve their first aid CPR certificate, and it qualifies the student to enroll in the pre-aprenticeship program with the Skilled Trades Academy. 

To apply for the Skilled Trades of West Alabama pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship programs, go to or call (205) 771-6655.

The Skilled Trades of West Alabama transitioned to an agency funding agreement for the 2024 fiscal year and onwards.

Goals and Impact
  • Introduces additional professionally trained craftsmen into the workforce, in an effort to reduce labor supply shortages 

  • Promotes and develops skills that sustain successful careers

  • Provides high school seniors with a head start towards mastering a trade

Project Updates


“I came to Skilled Trades because I needed a job right out of high school. I wasn’t going to college and needed to work. Skilled Trades has provided the right opportunity to learn and be part of the electrical apprenticeship program. Because of Skilled Trades I now have a future.”

- Jania Ramos, Student
Premier Service Company

“The benefits of Skilled Trades of West Alabama are twofold. The program not only helps technicians climb the ladder of success in their trade, but also helps the contractors staff their companies with highly skilled, knowledgeable employees.”

- Jim Page
President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama


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Key Milestones & Events
  • August 2022: 353 students have enrolled in or completed a Skilled Trades Program

  • January 2023: 85% completion rate for class enrollees

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Project Materials
Financial Information

Cost Summary








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Elevate Tuscaloosa Fund: City funds dedicated to Elevate Tuscaloosa which are allocated to this project.

Other City Funds: City funds from non-Elevate Tuscaloosa sources allocated to this project.

External Funding: Amounts from sources outside of the city, such as grants, or donations from citizens or private companies.

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