Just use the chgvar command as this example illustrates. Just make sure that your alpha value does contain all numbers.
PGM DCL VAR(&ALPHA) TYPE(*CHAR) LEN(3) VALUE('003') DCL VAR(&NUM) TYPE(*DEC) LEN(3 0) CHGVAR VAR(&NUM) VALUE(&ALPHA) ENDPGM
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This was first published in August 2004