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Governor Bentley Launches "Work Alabama" and Announces Team to Address Jobs Needs

Press Release

Location: Montgomery, AL

Governor Robert Bentley announced today the launch of "Work Alabama", an initiative by the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations to utilize existing resources to better identify temporary workers, and to make job seekers more aware of current job openings. DIR has streamlined the temporary job identification and application processes and is devoting additional resources to help employers cut through federal red tape to hire additional workers needed to meet workforce needs.

"The industries in our state that provide thousands of manual labor jobs are a foundational part of Alabama's economy." said Governor Bentley. "I want these employers to know that we are here to help them while they provide much-needed jobs to Alabamians who are looking for work."

Governor Bentley also announced the assembly of a team of representatives of those industries that provide thousands of jobs to manual laborers. The team will accurately assess the workforce needs of represented industry groups both in the short term and in the long term, and will make recommendations about how state government can help them meet those needs.

The team, led by Tom Surtees, Director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations, includes representatives from agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, and construction and trades.

Surtees stressed the importance of utilizing the state's job placement services to both jobseekers and employers. "We want to make sure that our state's smaller employers are aware of the wealth of services we can provide to them - free of charge," said Surtees. "We offer detailed job placement services to everyone in the State of Alabama. All you have to do is let us know that you have permanent or temporary jobs available, and we will find people to do the work. Conversely, if you are a jobseeker and are willing to accept temporary employment, we urge you to contact us as well."

Employers can register on the state's free jobs database, JobLink, or contact their local Career Center to place a job order. Trained and experienced staff will be available to help guide them through the process. Registration information as well as a listing of Career Centers is available at

Jobseekers should also register on JobLink or visit their local Career Center for assistance in applying for temporary jobs. Once a jobseeker indicates their interest in accepting temporary work, their name will be placed on a master list which will be provided to employers who have jobs available.

In addition, the Department of Industrial Relations has set up a toll free number to assist employers in obtaining immigrant workers legally through the federal H2A program. Employers who need assistance with this program should call 1-855-WORK-ALABAMA or email

Team members include: Greg Canfield (Director, Alabama Development Office); John McMillan (Commissioner, Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries); Mike Hubbard (Speaker, Alabama House of Representatives); Del Marsh (President Pro Tem, Alabama Senate); Johnny Adams (Alabama Poultry and Egg Association); Jay Reed (Associated Builders and Contractors); Russell Davis (Homebuilders Association of Alabama); Brian Hardin (Alabama Farmers Federation); and Chris Isaacson (Alabama Forestry Association).

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