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The Gateway Initiative Quarterly Newsletter for the fourth quarter of 2019.

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Published by South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, 2020-02-14 12:42:34

Gateway Initiative v2i4 Newsletter

The Gateway Initiative Quarterly Newsletter for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Keywords: newsletter,workforce development,business advocacy


Vulcan, Inc. Apprenticeship Pilot Program

January 24th, 2020 marked the kick-off date for employees of
Vulcan Metal Stampings (one of five facilities under Vulcan, Inc.).
Employees will have the opportunity to pursue a registered
apprenticeship as Stamping Press Operator or Tool & Die Maker
and reach journeyman status. This was made possible through
partnership with the Gateway Initiative, and is just one way that
Vulcan, Inc. puts its employees first.

Vulcan, Inc. began as a small sign manufacturer in
Birmingham, Alabama, in 1935 and has continued growing for over
80 years. We built our first production facility in Foley, Alabama in
1968. Eight families moved down from Birmingham to start up
Plant 1 – Vulcan Aluminum. The children of some of those families
still work with us today. From an initial employment of 20
employees to today’s 290 hard-working men and women, we are
ONE VULCAN, unified by our commitment to GROW our

At Vulcan, our motto is "Who Can? We Can. VULCAN!" Our
success is absolutely dependent upon everyone working together
as a team. Leadership, communication, accountability, pride in
workmanship, honesty and respect are all character traits that
Vulcan employees demonstrate daily. These values are the
foundation of who we are as an Employee-Owned Company. In
1975, Vulcan became the FIRST Alabama Corporation to
implement an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) giving
ownership of our company to our employees. Proudly, we say that
being Employee-Owned plays a major role in the way we operate

Vulcan was honored to partner with the Gateway Initiative to
develop the Apprenticeship pilot program in Vulcan Metal
Stampings. This program will recognize five hard working,
dedicated Vulcan employees as journeyman in their technical
fields and will give other employees in the facility the opportunity
to work alongside these great individuals to learn a valuable trade
in either Stamping Press Operation or Tool & Die.

For nearly 12 months the Gateway Team worked with us to
determine exacting skill standards for these positions. “We began
with skill standards established by the Department of Labor then
altered them to fit exactly to the expectations of Vulcan”, stated
Ed Bushaw of the Gateway team.

“This is an exciting project for Vulcan and, especially, the
employees of the Metal Stamping division. Part of our Vulcan
VISION is to grow our employees and this project shows our
commitment to do just that” Jennifer Minto, SPHR - HR Manager,
Vulcan, Inc.



Foley High School is proud to join together with Photo credit: Vulcan, Inc. #mfgday2019
long time Foley manufacturing company Vulcan, Inc.
to create the Vulcan Industrial Partnership (VIP) To learn more about Vulcan, Inc. visit

We are excited to offer select FHS graduates who
complete this path the opportunity to gain
employment with Vulcan, Inc.

This path will pass through the Career Technical
Education (CTE) department at Foley High School
where students will be recruited to join the Vulcan,
Inc. team upon their graduation. The VIP program will
use specific classes in construction and metal
fabrication within the CTE department to teach
students those skills that would be desirable when
working with Vulcan, Inc.

These students will also be introduced to Vulcan
and their team via tours and training sessions on the
Vulcan, Inc. campus. Once students have completed
the VIP process, they will participate in interviews with
the Vulcan, Inc. team where the best candidates will
be selected to begin their career in the Vulcan, Inc.

EDUCATION UPDATE “Resort & Hotel Management”
and a different focus, Foley High
More and more business classroom experience is seen in School students can now be on
leaders are realizing there are the valuable, real-world track to step into a high-wage/
‘bright lights’ in the world that connections through their on-the- high-demand career within the
may not have had the resources job training; their skill application Hospitality & Tourism industry,
to attend a four-year college. is inevitably taken to the next right here in our community!
With the skyrocketing costs of level. The Gateway Initiative has
college, that number is helped make the connection Stepping out of the CTE
increasing. A paradigm shift is between existing State of classes and into the electives,
occurring in the minds of those Alabama standards within career Terri Onderdonk (Director of
who previously believed that a technical education (CTE) and Business-Education Partnership
four-year degree is the necessary elective classes to skills needed in with the Gateway Team) met
key to success. Although formal industry and required by the with Foley High School Marketing
education certainly has its value, Department of Labor in order to and Business students in grades
one must question — at what achieve a registered 9th – 12th to share apprenticeship
cost? apprenticeship. We have helped opportunities which use skillsets
instructors understand what that carry into a wide range of
With this shift in thought, has industry is asking for, and how careers. She shared alternatives
come a shift in focus onto skills that relates to class options, to a four-year college track as well
and attitude (EQ) more so than a affecting the introduction and
degree. Combine this focus with offering of classes, relevant to our as options to gain college credit
the growing need for and area, that were not previously alongside apprenticeship hours
shrinking existence of a skilled offered. and possible company tuition
workforce, and you have the assistance.
ingredients for alternative The excitement is mounting
solutions; necessity breeds with the new offering of lodging Private school students are
innovation. Although classes to Foley High School! By not immune from financial or
apprenticeship is hardly a new connecting relevant curriculum to motivational reasons to not be
practice, it is expanding from career pathways that lead to a college bound. We visited South
electrician and plumbing fields Department of Labor registered Baldwin Christian Academy with
into mechanics, avionics & apprenticeship, the Gateway many students seeking options
aeronautics, even moving into Initiative has helped give new and seeing the value of acquiring
‘white-collar’ industries such as energy to a class that had lost its knowledge, skills and business
Hospitality & Tourism, and purpose within the eyes of connections without the burden
Marketing, Sales & Service. students. With a new name, of student debt. The students
and faculty alike were very
The effect the apprenticeship receptive to the apprentice
model has on a student’s career-pathing and will attend
Apprenticeship Signing Day on
April 17th; some to sign on and
others to learn more.


If you’re like most entrepre-

neurs, you’re moving a mile a
minute. With so much to do
to run a successful business
and even more to learn, it
can be challenging to find
time to develop key strate-
gies to move your business
forward. Even if you did
have time, we can all agree
that we need help in moving
our business forward. By
listening to our client’s needs
the Gateway Team has de-
veloped programs that can
accelerate your business
growth. This article will out-
line our business accelera-
tion process and give exam-
ples of how our program-
ming can assist in your busi-
ness development.

Business Assessment: A
regular business valuation is
beneficial to your success as
an entrepreneur, knowing
what makes your business
valuable and desirable to
potential customers can
steer you in the right direc-
tion and keep your business
healthy throughout the
years. The output of the
assessment helps to identify
the critical areas needed in a
strategic plan. Taking the
first step in this process will
put you on a path to running
your business more strategi-
cally. A business assessment

will help you to: ness planning and are critical to Employee Recruitment & Develop-
ment: With unemployment at a
• Discover weak points in business success. record low, particularly in Baldwin
County, finding suitable talent is
your business strategy • Financial plan: One of the most more difficult than ever. The Gate-
way Team is poised to help you
• Provide a foundation for important gains from an annual determine a realistic look at your
staffing needs and determine what
smart business decisions plan is the financial plan, which skills are important to your busi-
ness success. We find that, more
• Discover insights into your of course hinges on cash flow. A often than not, it is important to
revisit your company culture. Em-
business’ state of health business needs to stress its ployee retention is directly related to
a strong company culture that un-
priorities by making sure they derstands the needs and wants of
Business Plan Development: get the right amount of money.
Are you able to keep workers? Do
Tim Berry of Entrepreneur Maga- Growth costs money. you understand the true cost of
turnover? Are you investing in your
zine, March 13, 2006 explains how employees? Do you know the pay
rates of your prime competi-
start-up and existing businesses Whether you are in the start-up tors? The answers to these ques-
tions help our team to develop
can benefit from an annual busi- phase or currently in business, the strategies unique to your business
that will help you retain qualified
ness plan: Regardless of the name Gateway Team can assist with the staff.

you use--strategic plan, annual plan elements considered above. We The Gateway Team has found a
great deal of success in helping
or operational plan--the vast majori-can also assist with concept devel- businesses employ an apprentice-
ty of these plans include some or opment, market research, competi- ship model as part of their work-
all of the following main elements: tive analysis, workforce develop- force strategy. As a Department of
ment and much more. Labor sponsor for apprenticeship,
• High-level strategy: Strategy is the Gateway Team can work with
the focus and guides your “Employing the services of businesses on defining skill stand-
growth by assigning priorities. the gateway team has been ards for each staff position and
Of the whole range of possible a crucial aspect in properly develop a training and related edu-
market segments, and the managing my restaurants. cation program to grow that em-
whole range of services and ployee and build the bench
possible sales-and-marketing For the first time, I’m strength for staff advance-
activities, which are your main running my business, my ment. There are no silver bullets to
priorities? Strategy is often a business isn’t running me” solve a business’s workforce issues,
matter of understanding when but apprenticeship research shows
— Charlene Haber promise, as 78% of employers re-
“and how to say "no" and select- Wolf Bay ported improved productivity when
employing the apprenticeship mod-
ing opportunities. el, with 65% recognizing the new
• Specific responsibilities, activi- ideas apprentices bring to their
organization, and 83% of employers
ties, deadlines, and budgets: We recommend apprentices to other
call these milestones. They're

”the bricks and mortar of busi-

businesses as reported in the B2W Baldwin County Chamber Coalition
group Learners and Apprentices
Survey (2018). Legislative Agenda 2020

This assistance with the appren- For the SECOND year in a row,
ticeship model begins well before the five Chambers of
the hire. Recruitment of apprentic- Commerce, forming the
es that suit a particular business’s Baldwin County Chamber
needs also falls well within the Coalition, convened in
Gateway Team purview. This is January of 2020 to review
demonstrated through campaign- your feedback and develop
ing for industry and the benefits,
advancement pathways and men- the 2020 Business Legislative
tor training of individual business- Agenda. As a response to calls
es. The apprenticeship model from our respective and combined membership to speak
aligns business needs with well- to local, state and federal delegates with ONE VOICE,
defined process advancement and we’ve shared this year’s Legislative Agenda with
skill acquisition. We go beyond legislators in Montgomery and Washington, DC.
connecting the workforce to job
vacancies. We help establish and You can find the 2020 Business Legislative Agenda on
coordinate implementation of this our site:
apprentice model from recruit-
ment to completion and assist BIG THANKS to
with each step along the way. This THE WHARF,
involves campaigning, educating, one of our
coordinating hiring, recording, and Chairman’s Circle
reporting of apprentice hours and (top level) investors!
skill achievement. We understand
that each industry has specific skill- The Gateway Team now has an additional location to
set needs and each business has better serve investors and potential partners located
its own unique cultural and organi- in the office suites above Yo Ho Rum & Tacos. The
zational dynamics. Through our team still works part-time in the Foley office, but uses
recruitment process, we help edu-
cate an underdeveloped work- the Orange
force and stimulate renewed ex- Beach space
citement and intrigue to industries when meetings
that have had difficulty marketing occur along the
career opportunities, or have been coast! Come
misrepresented regarding career drop in for a
paths. visit, and maybe
meet us for
The Gateway Team welcomes happy hour!
the opportunity to sit with any
South Baldwin Chamber or Coastal
Alabama Business Chamber mem-
ber to discuss investing in the
Gateway Initiative. By joining the
more than 75 businesses and or-
ganizations already investing we
are confident that your business
will reap great benefits.

Chairman's Circle Investors

CEO Council Investors
Leaders Forum Investors

Gulf Shores, AL


FEB 18 Bharani Rajakumar, CEO of Transfer VR
Topic: VR Soft Skills Training
SERIES LOCATION: Foley Civic Center
TIME: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

MAR 16 Bradley Byrne, Congressman
Representing the 1st District of Alabama
SERIES LOCATION: Foley Civic Center
TIME: 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

APR 7 Great Opportunities Await — Find seasonal and
full-time employment at the Job Fair! Door
JOB FAIR Prizes and Food Provided
LOCATION: Foley Civic Center
TIME: 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm


LOCATION: Perdido Beach Resort
TIME: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm (Noon)

REMINDER: Gateway Investors have exclusive access to
Leadership Series speakers during a 30 Minute Q&A session

prior to the Leadership Series Luncheon events!

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