MOBILE, Ala., December 13, 2023 – Bishop State Community College has been named the 2023 Innovator of the Year by the Mobile Chamber’s Economic Development Department. Bishop State received the award during the Mobile Chamber’s 9th Annual State of the Economy event at the Saenger Theatre on December 12th at 8 a.m.

The prestigious award is presented to a business committed to innovation and dedicated to positively impacting Mobile's economic growth.

Bishop State is a key to growth in Mobile's economy. See NBC 15's report here.

“We look at Bishop State as the economic engine that keeps our community going,” says Bishop State President Olivier Charles. “If we can provide quality training that gets people to work, gets people employed, and keeps our employers in the area happy, then I think we all win.”

“We are not necessarily trying to be innovative. We are trying to meet the needs of our community and along the way I think we've done some innovative things.”

Over the past year, Bishop State has become an innovator in the areas of aviation and advanced manufacturing. Through its Aviation Manufacturing Program, Flight Path 9, Bishop State has provided more than 2,100 industry-recognized credentials to participating students and supplied Airbus with more than 120 employees.

In the Advanced Manufacturing sector, Bishop State's FAME on the Coast program, the local chapter of the national Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, developed the first FAME Process Technology cohort in the nation. Nine students started in the summer semester of 2022 and are now in their 4th semester of a five-semester program. Students in the Process Technology FAME cohort have a 100% retention rate and are currently employed at local companies including AM/NS Calvert, FMC, Alabama Power, BASF, and Outokumpu.

“Although Bishop State has been in the education business for nearly 100 years, the work-based learning approach where students earn while they learn is the real innovation,” says Akareem Spears, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development. “The classroom activities are now vitally relevant to their current job.”

“Bishop State has recognized that getting an education is critical but combining that education with hands-on training and apprenticeship opportunities to obtain a career in a high-wage, high-demand field is truly innovative,” says Spears.

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