History of IMPACT
In the fall of 1992 the Scottsboro-Jackson County Chamber of Commerce recognized that the number one issue in community and economic development is education.
Facts support that higher education is a key element in the cycle that produces better paying jobs which support a stronger economy that fosters a better life for us all. Therefore, an Educational Committee was formed within the Chamber of Commerce. This committee decided to address two education issues: workplace illiteracy and the high school dropout rate.
The first part of the educational issue, workplace illiteracy, required consideration of two different problems. The first problem was identified as job specific workplace education. This dealt with how to better train employees in existing jobs.
The second part of the problem dealt with the issue of uneducated citizens and the unemployed with over one third of Jackson County adults not having a high school education.
The Workplace Literacy Committee adopted the name of the Jackson County 21st Century Council and developed a mission statement which reads:
Recognizing that a well-educated and trained workforce is a key element to economic growth, the mission is to provide basic education, job skills training and higher education opportunities for the people of Jackson County.
This mission statement is being accomplished by meeting the following goals:
■ Provide and implement plans, programs, facilities equipment and personnel for the academic and/or technical training of our workforce.
■ Help adults to complete their high school education through attainment of GED.
■ Assist local businesses and industries by offering to evaluate potential employees per job specific skills and also provide jobs "profiling" for our employers.
■ Serve as a catalyst for new business and industrial equipment by providing customized training to insure that a capable workforce is available to meet their needs.
■ Establish an educational foundation to promote excellence in education by providing "extras in the classroom by channeling private funds to educational efforts for grades K-12."
Through community partnerships and an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant, the adult learning center, developed by a partnership between employers, educators and community leaders, has become a reality for the people of Jackson County. Our county has the talent gifts of leadership and resources to become whatever our community wants to become. Community partnerships can redevelop our county by providing jobs which support a stronger economy that fosters a better life for all of us.
The 21st Century Council Adult Career Center (IMPACT) has had five homes. IMPACT is
currently located at 23123 John T. Reid Parkway.
All types of programs are conducted at IMPACT, from beginner and advanced computer classes to job development and job skills training. With the aid of computer-based, videos, self-paced curriculum and hands-on instruction and support, people can brush up on their computer skills, receive career counseling, update resumes, learn how to prepare for job interviews, and learn job retention skills. MPACT also houses English as a second language (ESL) classes through Northeast Alabama Community College.
With the help of area leaders including the Rotary Club and Dr. Norman Johnson, club president, Randel White, John Gay, Jim Pruett, Chamber of commerce, Jo Smith, and Steve Livingston IMPACT was born.
IMPACT grew to include partnerships with Jackson County and Scottsboro City school systems as well as the community. With an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant IMPACT provided video tele- conferencing and promethean boards for county and city schools. A Bynum Foundation grant combined with a grant for the Alabama Office of School Readiness allowed IMPACT to begin the Pre-K program in Scottsboro. It grew to include 3 classrooms and was administered by IMPACT Learning Center for ten years. (It now is part of the school system.) IMPACT continues to support and enhance both school systems.
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*Source: U.S. Census data