WHEREAS, the State of Alabama desires to build upon the strengths of its education system and economic growth, in order to promote opportunities for success for its citizens and their communities;

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama recognizes the mutually reinforcing benefits the institutions of education and industry can have upon each other;

WHEREAS, the State of Alabama currently faces a gap between the knowledge and skills of the workforce and what is necessary to increase success in business and industry;

WHEREAS, closing this skills gap will require coordination and collaboration across PK-12, two-year colleges, four-year universities and business and industry;

WHEREAS, success in some sectors requires specific skills and knowledge unique to that sector;

WHEREAS, leaders in each business and industry sector can provide valuable insight and recommendations as to the appropriate development of skills and preparation necessary for success in their field;

WHEREAS, educators carry unique expertise in the education and preparation of students for the workforce;

WHEREAS, education and industry need to have frequent communication around education and workforce data in order to ensure that every student in Alabama has the opportunity to pursue meaningful and productive careers; and

WHEREAS, every child in Alabama should graduate with the skills necessary to be successful in college or career.

NOW, THEREFORE, based upon these considerations, and for other good and valid reasons related thereto, I Robert Bentley, Governor of the State of Alabama, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Alabama, do hereby establish the Governor’s College and Career Ready Task Force. The Governor shall chair the Task Force, and the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House, the Senate President Pro Tem, and the Secretary of Commerce shall serve as co-chairs. The co-chairs shall report the status of the Task Force’s progress to the Governor’s Office as needed or requested. The Task Force shall make recommendations to the Governor based on its findings.

The Governor shall appoint the following members:

a.   The State Superintendent of Education;

b.   The Chancellor of the Alabama Community College System;

c.   The Executive Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education;

d.   The current President of the Council of College and University Presidents;

e.   The current Chancellor of the University of Alabama System;

f.    The current President of Auburn University;

g.   The Vice-President of the Alabama State Board of Education;

h.   A representative from Economic Development Partnership of Alabama;

j.    The Director of Career and Technical Education at the State Department of Education;

k.   The Vice Chancellor of Workforce Development at the Department of Postsecondary Education;

l.    The Director of the Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT);

m. A local superintendent;

n.   A representative from the Alabama Technology Network;

o.   A representative from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs;

p.   Representatives from business and industry associations; and

q.   Additional members as the Governor deems necessary.

All members appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

BE IT ORDERED that the Governor shall have the authority to create and abolish an Executive Committee, sector-specific sub-committees, appoint members of sub-committees, replace or remove sub-committee members, and task sub-committees as needed to advise, inform, and/or assist with the objectives and tasks of the Task Force.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that the Task Force shall focus its work on identifying those factors contributing to the aforementioned knowledge and skills gap in the Alabama workforce, and on developing a comprehensive strategy that leverages the strengths of education and industry to improve educational outcomes and to promote general workforce and economic development within the State.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that, in order to craft successful strategies for improvement, the Task Force should develop a greater understanding of the significant trends in education and industry, and the competitive dynamics affecting each.  Members should also assess the State’s positioning in light of these trends and competitive dynamics, and identify new areas of opportunity as well as areas needing improvement.  The Task Force should adopt a series of goals and specific, supporting initiatives that, when implemented, will position the State for greater success in educational and workforce outcomes.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that, while the Task Force will have the freedom to generate unique solutions addressing the defined issues and opportunities, it is anticipated that the initial focus will also include attention to the following:

a.  Endorse a standard definition for a “prepared graduate” of PK, K-12, two-year colleges, and four-year universities;

b.  Work with Alabama industry to utilize, on an ongoing basis, an Industry Needs Forecast;

c.  Identify new ways for education and industry to use student and workforce data to inform program decisions and monitor overall progress of Task Force initiatives;

d.  Explore potential partnerships or other forms of collaboration across the education pipeline and industry to better prepare students for college and career; and

e.  Define ways to increase awareness of college and career opportunities across the education pipeline.

BE IT FURTHER ORDERED that this Executive Order shall become effective immediately upon its execution and shall remain in effect until amended or modified by the Governor.

DONE AND ORDERED this 15th day of January, 2013.

Robert Bentley


Beth Chapman

Secretary of State