Barbara Steger, Director of Adult Education at Wallace Community College, talks about the different classes offered to adults in a classroom on Thursday.

Sable Riley

Wallace Community College in Dothan is competing with 94 other finalists in the US for funding for adult education students to participate in a new maintenance technician program.

The US Department of Education launched the Rethink Adult Education Challenge in September 2020 to improve opportunities for pre-apprentice lifelong learners by $ 250,000 and $ 100,000.

Wallace plans to start its new Basic Maintenance Technician (BMT) program in June 2021. Federal funding will help adult educators gain access to resources that will help them succeed in the program.

“It’s a win-win for everyone in our region,” said Joe Johnson, director of workforce development. “Identifying the BMT program for us is an obvious choice because of the training involved. There is a great need (for maintenance technicians) in our region. “

There is a large number of maintenance and repair jobs in food processing plants, distribution centers and manufacturers in the southeast region.

Funding adult education students under the BMT program would help add more individuals to the regional workforce and provide employers with a talent pipeline.

Wallace’s adult education program typically helps students who primarily don’t have a high school diploma or GED, said Barbara Steger, director of adult education. The program helps these students achieve their GED or diploma by providing resources and counseling services through a career coach.