- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Gov. Robert Bentley used his State of the State speech to outline ideas that he says will create more jobs and pull more people out of poverty.

In his speech to legislators Tuesday night, Bentley said he’s creating a Small Business Advisory Council to help small businesses grow.

He’s proposing a council of business and industry leaders to advise educators on workforce needs. He’s also talking about making sure Alabama has properly trained workers by expanding the voluntary pre-kindergarten program and enlarging the dual enrollment program that allows high school students to take courses at community colleges at the same time.

Bentley says Alabama must create the opportunity for people to acquire the skills to get higher-paying jobs.