Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council
Region 9 News
Baldwin-Choctaw-Clarke-Conecuh-Escambia-Mobile- Monroe-Washington
December 2013
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This week, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions announced its third award to SAWDC bringing the NFWS total investment to $616,000.   It is with much gratitude that we thank NFWS for their continued support.  All of the initiatives reported in this newsletter are part of SAWDC's work associated with NFWS.   To learn more about NFWS, click here.
Thank you!
Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority

With over 70 in attendance, CIEDA hosted SAWDC's quarterly council meeting in Atmore, Alabama on Wednesday, Dec. 11th, followed by a tour of Muskogee Technologies.  To learn more about CIEDA, click here.
Region 9
Community College
FY2014 Round II
Grant Application Deadlines

Due to SAWDC
January 3, 2014

Grants Review Committee
January 17, 2014
10:00 a.m. at SAWDC

Due to GOWD
February 5, 2014 

Click here for grant resources including guidelines and forms.

Please submit two originals and one electronic copy to SAWDC by COB on Friday, January 3, 2013.  

Originals can be mailed to the following address:

605 Bel Air Blvd. Suite 32
Mobile, Alabama 36606

Electronic copies can be emailed to
SAWDC Partners with Salvation Army 
SAWDC has teamed up with Salvation Army to offer case management services to fourteen of its work release residents. Many of these individuals are referred by the judicial system and must receive intensive case management services before they can re-enter the workforce. 


SAWDC further facilitated a partnership with Salvation Army and Bishop State Community College for an on-site GED Program, which began at Salvation Army's Dauphin Street location on October 8th.  
Executive Committee

Sam Covert
Alabama Power
Vice Chairman
Sandra Koblas
 Austal USA
Joseph Ng
ST Aerospace Mobile
Lee Lawson
Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance
Legal Counsel
David Hannan
Maynard Cooper & Gale
Past Chairman
Troy Wayman
Mobile Area
Chamber of Commerce
Carolyn Akers
Mobile Area
Education Foundation
Owen Bailey
USA Children & Women's
Ketrenia Crenshaw
Boise Paper
Bob Higgins
Higgins & Associates
Tim Johnson
Central Gulf
Industrial Alliance
Steve Perry
Community Leader
Cheryl Williams
Spherion Staffing
Laura Chandler
Executive Director
Host Reverse Job Fair 
In November, SAWDC and the Central Gulf Industrial Alliance (CGIA) hosted a Reverse Job Fair for seventeen trainees in the CGIA Welding Training program in Mount Vernon.  The event was held onsite in Mount Vernon at the AIDT mobile training unit.  CGIA employers including G.A. West, KBR, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Performance Contractors, South Central Pipes Trade, and Alabama Power, were on tap to interview the trainees as well observe their skills.

"CGIA is proud of its collaboration with SAWDC, AIDT, and the City of Mount Vernon on this important workforce development initiative.  Skilled welders are in high demand for CGIA member companies and public private partnerships like this one are a true win - win - win.  They are good for the state's economy; they are good for contractors and their plant owner clients; and most importantly, they are good for the students who learn an in demand skill that can lead to a very rewarding career." 

- Tim Johnson, Executive Director, CGIA

"Performance Contractors, Inc. would like to say both thank you and congratulations to all parties involved, both private and public, in orchestrating the success of the Mt. Vernon Welder training program.  The southeast region is in dire need of as many of these workforce development initiatives as possible.  Industry is well aware that there is a tremendous gap, especially with regard to skilled trades professions, in the retiring workforce and those individuals who are now entering it; programs such as this one are key factors in helping industry bridge that gap.  It was both a privilege and a pleasure to be part of this tremendous effort between SAWDC, AIDT, CGIA, Bishop State, KBR, G.A. West, and the City of Mt. Vernon, Alabama."


-Lesleigh Smith, Workforce Development Performance Contractors, Inc.



SAWDC Aviation Cluster Wraps Up
Pilot Program

SAWDC, as part of its work associated with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, kicked off a two-part Aviation Cluster Incumbent Worker Training Pilot Program in partnership with the Alabama Aviation College, a division of Enterprise State Community College, and ST Aerospace Mobile in October.  The first training program was a basic composites training course and the second, advanced composites. Candidates, employees of ST Aerospace Mobile, were selected based on their performance and desire to advance in their careers. All selected were paid while being trained. The basic composites training is complete and the advanced will be completed by mid-December. All participants, who successfully complete the training, have or will advance in their careers and receive wage increases. 

   ST MAE  

SAWDC Maritime Cluster's
"Hire Down, Skill Up" Strategy
SAWDC, in partnership with AIDT and Austal USA, implemented the Maritime Cluster Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) in September 2013. The goals of the program are as follows: 
1.) Make work ready fitters from graduates of local workforce development initiatives and provide the necessary foundation to enable them to accelerate their development to true A Class tradesmen
2.) Execute a "hire down skill up" model for the maritime cluster. 
All candidates, many of whom were graduates of the AIDT Maritime Training Center, were hired by Austal USA into Technical Assistant (TA) positions making $13.51 per hour.  Upon successful completion of a four week training program followed by a 90 day assessment, each participant is promoted to an A Class Tradesman making $17.00 per hour.  It is expected that the Maritime Cluster IWTP will result in the career advancement of 36 incumbent workers by year end.  
Austal Logo      AIDT  


 Stories from the Field.....
Christopher Dishon, who goes by "Chris," had just completed high school when the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill occurred. He was only 19 years old and grew up working for his family's seafood business.  After Hurricane Katrina, business declined; and after the oil spill the family business eventually closed.


Without any skills or training, Chris enrolled in a twelve week welding training program with the help of a SAWDC case manager.  Both the case management and training were funded by the Community Foundation of South Alabama and the National Fund for Workforce Solutions. Upon successful completion of the training, Chris began working for Horizon Shipbuilding in Bayou La Batre - that was two years ago.....


Travis Short, SAWDC Council member and President of Horizon Shipbuilding, has been extremely pleased with Chris' performance.  His skills in aluminum and steel welding allow him a lot of versatility at the Shipyard.  It's not just his skill, however.  Chris is motivated. Congratulations, Chris, on your new career!


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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.