Nearly 100 attendees participated in the Quarterly Workforce Summit Tuesday, Sept. 1 via Zoom. Tuscaloosa City Schools Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria shared challenges and opportunities as they began the year virtually due to COVID-19.

Dr. Daria explained that the Tuscaloosa City Schools Board of Education approved TCS to begin the year virtually for up to nine weeks. Small groups of students are on campus for specialized reasons, such as testing, special education, athletics and career technical education. TCS’s goal is to slowly bring students back to campus in hopes to stay on campus and to build their educational continuity via their virtual platforms.

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International’s VP of Human Resources Rolf Wrona said that safety continues to serve as the top priority as the automotive industry works to remain open and running amidst COVID-19. In addition to monitoring employees’ physical health, MBUSI is prioritizing employees’ emotional health brought on by the stress of the pandemic, virtual learning for children at home and the upcoming election.

MBUSI praised West Alabama Works’ efforts to recruit more employees via the Automotive Virtual Hiring Fair in June. Wrona also expressed the value of the West Alabama Childcare Database for his employees, a one-stop shop for childcare and virtual learning assistance for parents established by West Alabama Works.