The Division of Economic and Workforce Development at The University of West Alabama
July 2019 II
Workforce Development

Welding Fundamentals Training offered July 27

The University of West Alabama (UWA)  will offer a Basic Wire-Welding (MIG) Training class Saturday, July 27.  Sponsored by UWA's College of Business and Technology and the Division of Economic and Workforce Development, the Saturday class is limited to 12 students and will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hunt Annex on the UWA campus. Lunch is from noon to 1p.m. at your choice of local restaurants in Livingston including but not limited to the UWA Cafeteria or any of the fast food restaurants.

Class learning objectives include the ability to properly set-up an Oxygen-Acetylene torch for cutting, set-up welding machines, and perform basic Wire Welding (MIG) welding tasks.  Class participants will also learn safety for each process.

Anyone age 18 or above interested in learning the basics of welding is encouraged to attend the class and no prior welding experience is necessary.

The course fee is $25 per student. 

Registration deadline is Wednesday, July 24 for July 27 class.

Participants are required to wear long pants, safety shoes and bring long sleeve shirt.

For more information on the Welding Fundamentals Class, please call contact JD Pruitt at (205) 652-3488 or email

WIOA Career Pathways Program at UWA now accepting applications for CNA and automotive training programs

Click image to download  flyer.
The University of West Alabama's Division of Economic and Workforce Development received funding to host their WIOA Career Pathways for Youth Program for another year. 
The program's request for funding was approved on May 2 at the Region 3 Quarterly Workforce Summit.  Funding was awarded to expand the program to include automotive technician training beginning in July of 2019. The existing CNA Program, which began in 2016, was also approved for another year. Young adults between the ages of 16 to 24 that have a high school diploma or GED and are currently out of school are encouraged to apply for the 2019-2020 Program Year.
In addition, participants will take the ACT WorkKeys assessment to obtain National Career Readiness Certification as well as receive their CPR certification, OSHA safety certification, and training in essential job readiness skills such as communication and financial literacy. 
Click image to download flyer.
"There is a documented demand for both qualified CNAs and automotive technicians in our region and the state of Alabama," said Tina Jones, Vice President of UWA's Division of Economic and Workforce Development. "We are fortunate to be able to collaborate with UWA's Division of Nursing and College of Business Technology with this program. Their facilities combined with quality teaching will provide our participants with a great opportunity to receive hands-on instruction in a real world environment."  
This free program is possible through funding made available to the State of Alabama from the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The grantor is the U.S. Department of Labor and the program is administered by the Alabama Department of Commerce, Workforce Development Division, AWDA Section.
Interested individuals should  call Jordan Mahaffey, WIOA Program Director, at (205) 652-3828 or email her at

Adams to assist CNA program

Lathia Adams grew up in the rural town of Oakman, Alabama. She currently resides in Epes, Alabama with her husband and son.

Adams is a senior at the University of West Alabama (UWA) in Livingston working towards a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She hopes to one day receive her Ph.D. in clinical psychology and explore the effects of generational poverty while providing care to those suffering from mental illnesses.

She has served as a tutor for UWA's Student Support Services TRIO program, which provides mentoring to first-generation college students as well as access to scholarships and tutorial services.

Adams is now the assistant case manager for UWA's Division of Economic and Workforce Development Certified Nursing assistant (CNA) and Automotive Technician programs. Through this opportunity, she hopes to positively affect the lives of young adults by helping to increase their life chances through career openings provided by both programs.

Counselors play key role at Career Exploration Summer Camp 2019

Career Exploration Camp Counselors, pictured front row, l-r: LaPrease Sparks, Scheniquil Hampton, Dre Wigfall and Kyra Capers; back row, l-r: Division of Economic and Workforce Development Vice President Dr. Tina Jones, camp volunteer Linda Delaine and program supervisor Sanquenetta Thompson.

Thirty-nine students from across the Black Belt participated in the University of West Alabama's (UWA) Division of Economic and Workforce Development's 2019 Career Exploration Summer Camp (CESC) for upcoming high school sophomores and juniors. 

"An important part of the program's success is the outstanding leadership and engagement of camp counselors with the students," said program supervisor Sanquenetta Thompson. "Counselors are the cornerstone of any student engagement camp."

Camp counselors become mentors to camp participants during their week-long stay on campus. The counselors lead team building exercises, offer insight to college life and provide assistance in resume development. 

"I became a part of this camp because I wanted to help students find a career path and explore different options that they may have never thought of before," said camp counselor Laprease Sparks.

Insight on current career fields, information on the skills and requirements needed for each career field, and information on job growth for each field is also offered through this program, giving students ideas on ways they can prepare for the future while still in high school.

"Exposing students to career opportunities, while guiding them to the various pathways to get there, is important in helping them and their parents make informed decisions for their future," said Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development Dr. Tina Jones.

Participants were selected from a competitive application process and represented 13 high schools.

The program is sponsored by the Daniel Foundation of Alabama. The CESC program is open to students attending public and private schools located in Choctaw, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Perry, Pickens, Wilcox and Sumter counties. 
For more information, contact Sanquenetta Thompson at 205-652-3408 or email

Click here to  view camp counselors, individual bios and thoughts on career camp.

Economic Development

Leadership Sumter now taking applications

The Leadership Sumter Program is entering into its fourth year in educating and developing business and community leaders and is now accepting applications for its 2019-2020 Class.  The mission of Leadership Sumter is to identify, educate and train potential and current leaders in Sumter County; to develop these leaders through an effective network and interchange of ideas; and to gain a better understanding of our economic, political and social conditions so that we progress by working together as a county. 

Leadership Sumter class members tour McElroy Truck Lines, Inc. in Cuba, Alabama.
This is a special opportunity for participants to enhance their leadership skills and help the citizens of our community achieve shared goals through community and personal development.

For more information on Leadership Sumter, contact UWA's Director of Economic Development Allison Brantley at (205) 652-3618 or at

Click here for the Commitment Form/ Application.

Click here to for program schedule.

Alabama prepares for the "Alabama Counts" 2020 Census

What is Alabama Counts?
The next census of the United States will be taken in 2020. A full and accurate count is critical for Alabama's communities because many of the federal programs distribute money to the state based on statistics. An under count or drop in census numbers for Alabama will mean less funding allocated to the state and - as an extension - to your community.
The census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution.  The purpose is to conduct a census of population and housing and disseminate results to the President, the states, and the American people.  The primary uses for decennial census data are:
  • Reapportionment
  • Government Resource Allocation
  • Redistricting
  • Demographic Data
All responses to Census Bureau surveys and censuses are confidential and protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Under this law, the Census Bureau is required to keep respondent information confidential. Census Bureau will never share a respondent's personal information with immigration enforcement agencies; law enforcement agencies; or allow it to be used to determine their eligibility for government benefits. The results from any census or survey are reported in statistical format only.

Why does the 2020 Census matter to Alabama?
Alabama has much at stake with the 2020 Census. Due to our state's slowed population growth, we are in danger of losing at least one of our seven congressional seats, as well as federal funding that benefits our families, children, and communities. According to the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, Alabama currently receives $1,567 per capita through census-guided programs - this funding affects everyone. Fortunately, by participating in the 2020 Census we can protect our most valuable resources, including hospitals, police and fire departments, schools, and roads and bridges.
The census is essential, which is why we must take matters into our own hands - together, we can control Alabama's future. In 2010, 72 percent of Alabamians completed the census. This will not be enough in 2020, which is why we must ensure our 2020 Census count is complete, accurate, and fair.

Click here for an information flyer.

Visit the official Alabama Counts Census 
website at

To apply for a job with the US Census, click here.

To apply for a job with the US Census, click here.

Community Outreach
Pride of Place held at RPT Public Library, July 20

Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center's "Pride of Place II" will continue on Saturday, July 20 with "Sustenance for the Soul" at Ruby Pickens Tartt Library, located at 201 Monroe Street in Livingston, Alabama. The program will begin with refreshments at 9 a.m., followed by presentations from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Dr. Tina N. Jones, Division of Economic and Workforce Development Vice President, will give an overview of Vera Hall (1902-1964), an African American folk singer and folksong collector Ruby Pickens Tartt. The music of Sumter County will be showcased.  
Dr. Valerie Pope Burns, UWA professor of history will conclude with a presentation on Black Belt Barbeque Traditions. Tastings of regional BBQ is included.
Both programs are hosted by Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in partnership with the Monroe County Courthouse Museum and the University of West Alabama. The Alabama Humanities Foundation, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, co-sponsors this project. "Pride of Place II" will look at today's cultural heritage through a series of exciting and informational programs and lectures, all tied to the rich Black Belt soil. 
There is no charge for this program.
For more information about these programs, or other events, classes, and workshops provided by Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center, please contact us at (334) 682-9878, or on Facebook.

Black Belt Museum to host Making Alabama Bicentennial traveling exhibit Sept. 13 - Oct. 18

Making Alabama, A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit
 is a statewide celebration of 200 years of statehood presented by Alabama Humanities Foundation in partnership with Alabama Department of Archives and History and Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

The University of West Alabama's Division of Economic and Workforce Development's Black Belt Museum will host the exhibit Sept. 13-Oct. 18, 2019. The Museum is located in downtown Livingston on the Sumter County Courthouse Square.

There is no charge for this exhibit. Hours for the exhibit will be announced soon.
For more information, contact Black Belt Museum Director James Lamb at call (205) 652-3725.

Click here for exhibit information.

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Center for the Study of the Black Belt
Black Belt Garden
Black Belt Archives
DEWD Partners
Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area
Alabama's Black Belt:
Where the Culture is as Rich as the Land. The Alabama Black Belt Heritage Area comprises 19 counties in central and western Alabama that are working together to attain designation as a National Heritage Area.
Visit them on Facebook here .
Mark Your Calendar

 UWA Certified Nursing Assistant 
program and Certified
 Automotive Technician program now 

Click here to 
download  flyer.

ACT Work Ready Communities Report
Sumter County is a certified Work Ready Community with 93% of county goals completed. A complete report description is available at the link below. 

Click here to view the 
 ACT Work Ready Communities report.

ACT Workkeys 
ACT Workkeys Assessment Testing takes place every Friday. Upcoming dates are July 12, 19 and 26.  For more information, contact Director of Econ omic Developmen t Allison Brantley to register at  abrantley@uw   or call 205-652-3 618.

Alabama Bicentennial Updates

Stay up to date on statewide educational news, discover diverse resources for teachers and administrators, and be featured as a 
Spotlight School by actively participating in the Alabama bicentennial celebration.

For more information, 
click here.

UWA Division of Economic and Workforce Development |