Progress in action
Below you will find a quick summary of some of our latest success. If you would like more information on these and other projects please give us a call at (205) 391-0331.
Livingston Career Center
• 294 individuals attended multiple event locations spanning 695 miles travelled and 48 plus hours spent
• ARD continues hiring Ready to Work graduates. These individuals received full time jobs at ARD and full tuition scholarships in logistics.
• ARC Grant utilizing $388,000 with over 200 job seekers connected.
Livingston Career Center
• The Tuscaloosa County School System, suppliers, and West Alabama Works are retrofitting the old, vacant Brookwood High School using a $125,000 grant and money from industry.
• $25,000 each from the County and City of Tuscaloosa.
• There will be a 4 step process of transformation into a green, innovative campus.
Livingston Career Center
• Submitted in November 2016.
• Will assist coal impacted communities and bring in $1.5 million dollars.
• Currently, a lease property is being evaluated which will be a temporary workspace while Brookwood is completed. Brookwood’s full capacity as a technical high school and training venue for adult learners will be realized.
Worlds of Work (WOW)
• 52 schools
• 4,000 8th graders, 500 high schoolers
• 3 visiting states sending staff to observe
• 200 VIP’s
• 45 + Sponsors
• 100 hands-on activities created by businesses, 20,000 square feet of tents, 850,000 square feet of total space used at Shelton State Community College
• $70,000 financial investment, 15 million dollars of equipment on site, from cranes to helicopters to combines
• 300 teachers, volunteers, and industry experts
• 1 Reason—to improve the workforce of West Alabama and change lives in the process
• Next steps: review layout on campus, use Constant Contact technology
• Save the Dates: October 12-13 2017
• Media publicity with television spots on local news.
ACT Work Ready Communities
• West Alabama Works announced as of November 17, 2016, Tuscaloosa County became the first metro community in the State of Alabama to meet all criteria to become a certified ACT Work Ready Community.
• This achievement caps a 12-month engagement process and launches a two-year growth and maintenance phase to retain certification.
• 108 businesses = 100%
• Print and television media publicized the achievement.
• Conducting meetings in December to involve other regional counties.
• The Alabama Works name change and state project has resulted from a $1 million in promoting workforce development in the state with a common brand.
• ALABAMA WORKS! Is the new brand, which received tremendous approval in focus groups. We will not need to change much, as Region 3 is already WEST ALABAMA WORKS! The new website will launch on February 15th, and will appeal to inquiries by job seekers, employers, and students, serving as a One Stop shop to post and locate jobs.
• Donny Jones was interviewed by a reporter from Business Alabama Magazine.
West Alabama Works
• The new State branding campaign aligned with our existing name. A brochure which tells the WAW story is being developed currently. This will help serve as a “boiler plate” to tell our story and make outreach more simplified and consistent.
• Clusters continue to drive progress. The most recent Manufacturing Cluster meeting illustrated an interest in incentive programs typically utilized by Phifer Wire. As these funds are under-utilized by businesses, additional in-depth training will follow on specific programs.
• Other counties are learning how to implement Workforce Development activities via meetings and training with Donny Jones.
• Hired full time WFD Project Manager.
• Three years private funding secured.
• Cheddar’s Emergency Hiring Fair conducted September 30th, with 30 employees hired by various Tuscaloosa businesses.
• Region 3 has expanded to include Sumter and Marengo Counties.
• Bylaws required modification and approval to include Sumter and Marengo Counties. 2017 officers will remain the same.
• Gary Nichols and Randy Skagen will remain in their current roles of Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, with Donny Jones continuing as Secretary/Treasurer.
• Sumter and Marengo County Members now part of Region 3 are Roger Willis from WestRock, Cody McElroy from McElroy Trucking, Alejandro Perez from Cemex US, and Leslie Emory from Prystup Packaging.
• John Guest as a voting member of the Regional Council.
• Currently WAW along with Shelton and Bevill State Community Colleges are developing an industrial program which will teach core components of industrial maintenance. This program will allow students to choose particular tracks in the industry such as traditional industrial maintenance, injection molding, mechatronics, and other electrical maintenance programs.
• The focus is to tie employer lead apprenticeship programs, direct hires, and OJT incentives to encourage students to pursue this type of training.
• Focused marketing is directed to the base program and not to individual tracks this allows students and their parents to begin a program and determine directions later in the training process.
• To date, $1,250,000 has been raised to support the manufacturing workforce partnership’s work. An additional $2,000,000 in funding over the next three years will be needed. Sustainability Grant funding will support the implementation of the CNC Machinist Training, Career Technical Programs, apprenticeships, and the new industrial maintenance track program.