New fee funds construction worker training in Ala.

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The Alabama Construction Industry Craft Training Board has awarded $1.8 million in grants to train workers for construction jobs.

The money comes from a new fee of $1 per $1,000 in project value on nonresidential building permits in the state. Collection of the fee began in October 2016, and the first disbursement was in September. The Alabama Associated General Contractors pushed for the fee to fund craft training programs, and the legislation was enacted in 2015.

A seven-member board of contractors administers the money, which has been disbursed to 25 applicants, consisting of schools, colleges and companies.

The Alabama contractors association estimates the fee will yield $3 million to $5 million a year. Like other states, Alabama faces a shortage of construction workers, and the fund is designed to try to attract and train more workers for the profession.