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WOW Expo returns this week at Shelton State

WOW Expo returns this week at Shelton State

The eight-annual Worlds of Work Career expo brings West Alabama’s ninth grade students to Shelton State Community College, showcasing industry opportunities in the region.

The eighth-annual Worlds of Work (WOW) Career Expo returns in-person since 2019 and will bring numerous industry leaders and education partners, drawing over 4,000 students from West Alabama to Shelton State Community College this week, October 13-14.

“We’re bringing industries and companies all in one place for the next generation – to show them all the opportunities of our region. Sometimes it only takes two days to impact and change a student’s future for the better,” said Chamber of Commerce COO and West Alabama Works Executive Director Donny Jones. “WOW is like no other event we put on throughout the year,” said Jones.

Michael Goebel, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz U.S. International will deliver the keynote address at the WOW VIP Breakfast Friday, October 14 at 7:30 a.m. in the gymnasium of Shelton State Community College. The breakfast honors sponsors, industry leaders, education leaders and elected officials who have supported WOW.

In addition to the Goebel’s address, 37 educators will graduate from the Educator Workforce Academy at the breakfast. The Educator Workforce Academy is a year-long training program for educators in West Alabama, exposing them to workforce development and the region’s industries. Established in 2017 by West AlabamaWorks!, the Academy is designed to eliminate the disconnection between industry and education, giving the region’s students the best chance possible for success.

The 2021-2022 graduates represent school districts in Bibb County, Demopolis City, Fayette County, Greene County, Hale County, Lamar County, Marengo County, Pickens County, Sumter County, Tuscaloosa City and Tuscaloosa County. In addition, 90 top level educators will start their journey during the VIP Breakfast as part of the 2022-2023 Educator Workforce Academy program.

WOW kicks off Thursday, drawing ninth graders from across the region from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. High school students and their parents are invited to WOW Varsity, a free continuation of the expo on Oct. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m., also at Shelton State Community College. High school students will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with industry leaders and prepare for their careers. Students can pre-register via the website.

Worlds included in WOW are agriculture, construction, cosmetology, education, energy and utilities, engineering and environment, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing/automotive/logistics, public safety, and transportation.

For more information on WOW, including parent and educator resources, visit