Southwest Alabama Workforce 
Development Council
Region 9 News

April 2015
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2015 Sponsors


Board of Directors

Sandra Koblas
  Austal USA
Vice Chairman
Lee Lawson
Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance
Bill Hafner
VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering

Ketrenia Crenshaw
Boise Paper
Legal Counsel
David Hannan
Maynard Cooper & Gale

Past  Chairman
Sam Covert
Alabama Power

Carolyn Akers
Mobile Area
Education Foundation

Chris Comstock
Bob Higgins
Higgins & Associates

Frank Jelercic
Central Gulf
Industrial Alliance
John Johnson
Coastal Gateway

Loka Mistretta
Cintas Corporation

Jennifer Ogle

Steve Perry
Community Leader

Janice Rehm
USA Children's & Women's

Randy Rogers
Evonik Industries

Lesleigh Smith
Performance Contractors

George Vann

Troy Wayman
Mobile Area
Chamber of Commerce
Cheryl Williams
Spherion Staffing
Laura Chandler
Executive Director
   SAWDC & CGIA  Hold Joint Membership Meeting at AIDT Maritime Training Center

On March 24th, SAWDC and the Central Gulf Industrial Alliance (CGIA) held a joint membership meeting hosted by  AIDT Maritime Training Center. In front of an audience of close to one hundredCGIA awarded industry endorsements to six training programs, which were identified, through the CGIA Industrial Trades Program Review, as high quality programs training to industry standards. In Region 9, the welding programs at both Jefferson Davis Community College and Reid State Technical College received endorsements.   Endorsed programs receive recognition among CGIA employer members as quality programs for hiring qualified candidates.  

Inspiring our Future Workforce...
One Student at a Time

Led by this year's co-chairs, Lesleigh Smith , Performance Contractors , and Green Suttles , Mobile Gas , the SAWDC "WoO" Steering Committee will kick off planning for the 2015 event on April 22nd.  SAWDC Worlds of Opportunity Career Expo, which has exposed close to 40,000 students to regional career opportunities, is made possible by over 165 companies and partner organizations throughout the region.  If you would like to get involved, contact Peggy Brown at or 251-445-2090.  
Over 300 Attend the Alabama Aviation Center Career Fair  & Open House

SAWDC, as part of its work associated with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions and in partnership with the Alabama Aviation Center, formed the Aviation and Aerospace Advisory Council in March 2013. The Council includes nine employer members with a combined workforce of more than 3,000 employees. To increase awareness of career and training opportunities in the local aviation industry, the Council along with recruiters for the Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force held its second Aviation Career Fair and Open House on March 13th, at the Alabama Aviation Center.  There were over 300 in attendance, including 20 area high school seniors interested in pursuing careers in the aviation industry. 

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Click here for Fox10 news story.  

SAWDC Participates in the Young Adult Initiative Led by the National Fund

The Youth/Industry Partnership Initiative (YIPI) is a joint initiative of Jobs for the Future and the  National Fund for Workforce Solutions focused on developing a deeper understanding of how strong employer engagement can help low-income young adults connect to good careers. YIPI is supported through funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, with additional support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). With over 40% of its clients falling between the ages of 18 and 24, SAWDC was selected as one of six National Fund sites to participate in the initiative, which strives to learn how the relationships and information generated from industry partnership can lead to successful employment and career advancement outcomes for young adults.  T o learn more about YIPI, click here :
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SAWDC's Vision is to develop a comprehensive, integrated workforce development system which creates a skilled, diverse, motivated, adaptable workforce that better meets the needs of employers and leads to a better quality of life for our citizens.
SAWDC's Mission is to develop strategic partnerships which attract, educate and train students and workers to better meet employer needs and foster economic growth in a global marketplace.
For more information on how you can become involved with the efforts of the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council and Region 9, please call 251-445-2090.