Cluster work continues as many programs such as Modern Manufacturing CTE programs, and a new focus on construction trades CTE programs grow. Construction, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Automotive all are on point and continue to be effective.

At the April Automotive Cluster Meeting, Donny Jones revealed the workforce training needs assessment data results for the Automotive Industry in West Alabama. Donny Jones also officially announced the May 5th Automotive Hiring Fair. Following the cluster meeting WAW project managers met with all the participating suppliers to discuss hiring fair logistics and answer any questions.

At the most recent Construction Cluster meeting industries discussed workforce needs in West Alabama. This meeting was an informational meeting to catch our construction industries up to speed with the resources West AlabamaWorks has to offer. We discussed everything from apprenticeships to training grant opportunities.  Through interaction with our Construction industries in West Alabama, a need for highly- trained plumbers was discovered and communicated to our local school systems. This initiated a kaizen to discuss the development of a plumbing curriculum to produce highly trained and qualified plumbing students. This will be held on May 24th from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the Chamber.

At the April Healthcare Cluster Meeting we discussed ongoing workforce needs in the West Alabama community and how we meet those needs. Transportation to training classes is a continuous barrier brought to our attention by DCH and Tuscaloosa Surgical Center. Our community college partners Shelton and Bevill State Community College are assisting in dissolving those barriers by providing more comprehensive training classes at all campus sites and making use of the Workforce Mobile Unit to bring Ready-To-Work training to more rural areas in West Alabama. We also discussed more opportunities for employers/companies to inform the community and students of the many career opportunities through events like WOW and WOW 2.0 and ongoing projects like the High School RTW expansion.