Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council
Region 9 News
                                                                                                                                          July 2015
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In observance of the July 4th holiday, the SAWDC office will be closed July 3rd.
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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

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
Alabama Delegation Attends the National Fund for Workforce Solutions' Annual Meeting
Hosted in Baltimore, Maryland from June 17-19, 2015, the National Fund's Fifth Annual Meeting brought together almost 500 employer, policymakers, and non-profit leaders from across the country to "Learn. Share. Partner." More than 130 employers collaborated with hundreds of workforce development professionals to share ideas, discuss common issues, and develop shared solutions. Click here to access videos and presentations.  

Seventeen representatives from five Alabama Workforce Development Councils, Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), and the Alabama State Department of Education were in attendance. SAWDC Chairman, Sandra Koblas with Austal USA, participated in the session on " UpSkill America: Lessons from the field," which highlighted the employer-led movement to expand economic opportunity for American workers. Eddie Clayton, Senior Labor Consultant with Southern Company, Phil Johnston, Vice President, Engineering with Mercedes-Benz, and Rachel Rounsaville, Workforce Development Manager with Jacobs Engineering , spoke to a captive audience in a session on "Holding Education and Training Providers Accountable."

   nfws logo
Central Gulf Industrial Alliance and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College host Region 9 Community Colleges

On Wednesday, June 17th, employer members of the Central Gulf Industrial Alliance (CGIA) and representatives from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) hosted  Region 9 Community Colleges at MGCCC for a tour of their industry recognized workforce development programs.  The tour was an outcome of the inaugural meeting of the Region 9 Welding and Industrial Maintenance Advisory Committee, which was born out of the CGIA Program Review and Endorsement initiative.

The tour was led by Brock Clark of MGCCC alongside Mark Scott of Ingalls Shipbuilding and Patrick Coleman of Chevron.  Region 9 Community Colleges including Faulkner State Community College, Reid State Technical College, and Jefferson Davis Community College were able to speak with MGCCC instructors and the employers who partner with them to better understand the industry driven model for the development of each program. 

The programs toured were:
  • Mechanical Maintenance (Outcome Machinist/Millwright)
  • Precision Manufacturing and Machining Technology (Inside Machinist)
  • Instrumentation and Control Technology
  • Electrical Technology 
  • Process Operation Technology (PE Tech)
  • Welding
  • Marine Pipefitting Technology
A big thanks to the employer members of CGIA, Brock Clark, and John Showers for their warm hospitality.
  VT MAE Gives Students A Jump Start 
on Real Work Experience

This summer, students from the B.C. Rain Aviation Academy, a part of the Mobile County Public School System, are experiencing first hand what it is like to work for a large aviation employer. VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering (VT MAE) partnered with the Academy to provide internships in aviation for six of their best and brightest students. While the students are training largely in aircraft maintenance, they are also working an eight week rotation - spending each week in a different department learning about a variety of jobs in aviation.

"Our desired outcome is to provide a real world look at the aviation maintenance business," explained Bill Hafner, President of VT MAE. "These students are the future of aviation maintenance.  We want to facilitate their ability to make sound choices as they prepare for a career in aviation maintenance." 
VT MAE Summer Interns (l to r) - Cameran Howard, Aldrishon Jones, Zachary Bunch, Thearthur Thames, Jamarkus McQuirter & Jordan Woodrow. Backrow: Robert Turner, AMT Coordinator
 Zachary Bunch reviews required certifications in the training department.
 Cameran Howard audits aircraft parts bins in the shipping department.
SAWDC Quarterly Council meeting held at Alabama Southern Community College

With key leaders from industry, education, and government in attendance, Alabama Southern Community College hosted SAWDC's June Quarterly Council meeting at their Thomasville campus. Ann Clanton, Dean of Instruction at Alabama Southern Community College, kicked off the meeting with a presentation on the Alabama Southern and its model workforce development training programs. Special guest, Commissioner Fitzgerald Washington from the Department of Labor, then provided an update on labor market information and workforce readiness. Finally, Region 9 community college representatives made presentations to the Council for over $3 million in workforce development funding requests for FY2016.  A tour of Alabama Southern followed the meeting.  Thank you, Dr. Sykes and the Alabama Southern team, for your hospitality!  
2015 Sponsors
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Vivian Figures
Alabama State 

United Way

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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.