Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council
Region 9 News
August 2013
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to register to volunteer for the 2013 SAWDC Worlds of Opportunity Career Expo for 8th grade students being held on  September 25th & 26th at the Mobile Civic Center.

Set Up Day & 
Volunteer Orientation September 24th

to Hands On South Alabama and United Way for organizing volunteers for the 2013 event!

hands on

United Way
Thank You to the 2013 Sponsors

Sept. 25th & 26th  

Mobile Civic Center


For sponsorship opportunities, click here.



Diamond - $15,000

Alabama Power

Georgia Pacific


Platinum - $10,000


Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute


Gold - $5,000

Austal USA

Baldwin County Public Schools

Bishop State 

Enterprise State 

Faulkner State 

Horizon Shipbuilding

Huntington Ingalls

Mobile County Public Schools

Performance Contractors

Senator Vivian Figures

Virginia College


Silver - $1,000 to $2,500

Gulf States Shipbuilders Consortium

Outokumpu Stainless, LLC

ST Aerospace Mobile

Associated General Contractors

Alabama Southern 

Alabama Technology Network


Mobile Airport Authority

Mobile Gas Corporation


PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

Remington College

Senator Marc Keahey


Bronze  - $500

Brasfield & Gorrie

Central Gulf Industrial Alliance

Thompson Engineering 

For more information on the 2013 SAWDC Worlds of Opportunity or to volunteer, please contact: 

Bridget Wilson
Check Out
The Alabama 
Department of Labor's Help Wanted Online Data Series™ 
The Help Wanted Online (HWOL) Data Series fills a critical gap in the current U.S. economic indicators by providing timely monthly measures of labor demand (advertised vacancies) at the national, state, regional, and local levels. To pull reports for Region 9, click here to go to the Alabama Department of Labor website.    
Forum Alabama
An Update from the Governor
Tuesday, August 27th
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Battle House Hotel
Mobile, Alabama

To reserve your seat
contact Carolyn Hunt at
Executive Committee

Sam Covert
Alabama Power
Vice Chairman
Sandra Koblas
 Austal USA
David Scheid
Legal Counsel
David Hannan
Johnstone, Adams, Bailey,
Gordon & Harris, LLC
Past Chairman
Troy Wayman
Mobile Area
Chamber of Commerce
Carolyn Akers,
Mobile Area
Education Foundation
Owen Bailey
USA Children & Women's
Bob Higgins
Higgins & Associates
Tim Johnson
Central Gulf
Industrial Alliance
Lee Lawson
Baldwin County Economic
Development Alliance
Joseph Ng
ST Aerospace Mobile
Steve Perry
Community Leader
Cheryl Williams
Spherion Staffing
Laura Chandler
Executive Director

logo for newsletter
Over 90 Healthcare
Employees Upgrade Skills and Advance in Careers

Just over a year ago, SAWDC facilitated a partnership with the Bay Area Healthcare Coalition and, in particular, Mobile Infirmary, a division of Infirmary Health System, and Bishop State Community College to pilot an incumbent worker training program for certified nursing assistants.  Since that time and with the program's expansion, ninety employees have successfully completed the training program with an additional nine currently in training.  With a 100% certification pass rate, all employees were granted wage increases upon completion.  


"I felt I got several things from the program.  I learned better techniques and it really reinforced the right way to give patient care.  Finishing the classes encouraged me to apply for nursing school.  I have two more pre-reqs and meet with my advisor in July to schedule my TEAS entrance test."


- Juvita Villegas, Certified Nursing Assistant

   Mobile Infirmary


"We know we have great nursing assistants at Mobile Infirmary.  Our goal for this program is to remind them of how important they are to us and the potential each of them has to be even greater.  Quite a few of the employees who have completed the program are either in college now or in the process of applying for school.  While excellent patient care is always our goal, the individual successes are just as important to us.  Attending the graduation celebrations and hearing how the program has affected these nursing assistants has truly been rewarding to me.  I am so grateful for this opportunity to partner with SAWDC, Bishop State and Faulkner Community Colleges and look forward to our continued relationship."


- Carol Statter, Workforce Development Coordinator

  Infirmary Health System

infirmary health nfws logo

Mount Vernon Welding Training 
Program in Full Swing
The CGIA Welding Training Program is in full swing with a total of twenty-one participants. Funded in part by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the program is being held in the rural town of Mount Vernon, Alabama utilizing a mobile training unit provided by Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT).


With three weeks under their belts, participants have completed orientation, safety training, and are in the process of starting Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW). All participants are guaranteed employment by one of the CGIA employer members upon successful completion of the program.


SAWDC would like to thank the following CGIA members for their contribution to the program:


Steve Prentiss, Performance Contractors

Lesleigh Smith, Performance Contractors

Matthew Clark, Kellogg Brown & Root

Mark McCord, Kellogg Brown & Root

Jamie Van Voorhis, Kellogg Brown & Root

Mike Firmin, CB&I

Darrel Watson, CB&I


cgia welding training
  AIDT nfws logo  
SAWDC Council Member
Dr. John Johnson Selected CGEDA Interim Executive Director
Click here for the full press release
by Coastal Gateway Economic Development Alliance.



Dr. Johnson

Dr. John A. Johnson has been named Interim Executive Director of Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance (CGEDA) by the CGEDA Board of Directors. The position became vacant after former Executive Director Jim Searcy stepped down. Searcy took a position as Execut ive Director of The Economic Development Association of Alabama.


"On behalf of Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance, it is my pleasure to announce that Dr. John Johnson has been selected by the Board of Directors to serve as the Interim Executive Director for the Alliance," said Larry Woods, Chairman of the CGEDA. "He has the necessary economic development experience and knowledge of the region to lead the organization," said Woods.


Johnson said he would move forward with the projects the alliance has been working on and seek solutions and new opportunities. "I wish to express my gratitude to the Board of Directors of the Alliance for allowing me this opportunity to grow jobs for the Coastal Gateway region," said Johnson. "Over the coming days, I will continue to recruit the projects which we are currently working and visit members of our existing industry. I am delighted to have another opportunity to spend my days working to make the region a better place to live and work." coastal gateway
Welcome, Dr. Kathy Thompson! 

SAWDC would like to welcome Dr. Kathy Thompson, the new Dean of Technical Education and Workforce Development at Bishop State Community College, to Region 9.  Dr. Thompson comes to us with over twenty years experience in public policy, strategic planning, project and program management for federal and state programs; experience developing collaborations between public and private stakeholders at the state and local levels in the areas of education, economic development and workforce development; experience in grants management that includes grant solicitations and fiscal management; and experience in higher education and management and college-level teaching experience.  Dr. Thompson most recently held the position of Executive Director of the Macon-Bidd County Workforce Investment Board.  Prior to this, Dr. Thompson held the position of Director of Postsecondary Perkins and Tech Prep for the Virginia Community College System.

Engaging Youth in Engineering


This summer, the Mobile Area Education Foundation sponsored "Camp Amp: EYE Gets Energized," an Engaging Youth through Engineering camp for students who just completed fourth and fifth grade and attend a Mobile County public school that has an EYE club. The program's goal is to expose children to the field of engineering through hands-on, creative investigations and building activities, and to introduce them to the variety of careers associated with engineering. 


For more information or to get involved, contact Dr. Susan Pruet at


Say "Yes to the Test!"

mobile united
Baldwin and  Mobile counties' two neighboring school systems will likely try two different testing initiatives this fall to combat student drug abuse: voluntary signups and random here to read more.
Mobile United Public Safety Committee is spearheading the "Yes to the Test" Campaign.  The Drug Education Council is helping coordinate the program that includes both screening and education/awareness. Prevention is the primary goal for the Student Drug Testing effort as well as preparing these students for the next phase in their lives - being a part of the workforce.

For more information or to get involved contact:


Jean Downing

Drug Education Council
3000 Television Avenue
Mobile, Alabama   36606
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.