The Division of Economic and Workforce Development at The University of West Alabama
October 2019
UWA awarded $2.5 million U.S. Dept. of Labor & Delta Regional Authority grant
Investment will drive rural workforce development efforts for 10 counties

The University of West Alabama has been awarded a $2.5 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Delta Regional Authority to expand the impact of workforce development efforts through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative. UWA is one of only eight organizations in the five states across the Delta region to receive the award.
These grant funds awarded by the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration, in collaboration with the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission, focus on rural areas with economic challenges. The initiative is designed to assist and support innovative and proactive efforts to address skills development and needs of employers and potential employees.

Click here for full story.

For more information on the LINCS initiative or other projects of UWA's Division of Economic and Workforce Development, call 1-833-UWA-WORK.

Project agreement clears way for Enviva to build Sumter County wood pellet plant

Pictured are Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, center; and from left: Epes Mayor Walter Porter, Sumter County Commission Chair Marcus Campbell, Gov. Ivey, ENVIVA President & Chief Executive Officer John Keppler, Livingston Mayor Tom Tartt, 
and Alabama Senator Bobby Singlton.

Governor Kay Ivey joined executives with  Enviva  and local leaders in Livingston on Friday, Oct. 4, in announcing that the company expects to invest approximately $175 million to construct a wood pellet production plant in Sumter County that would provide an economic boost to West Alabama.

The proposed facility, to be located at the Port of Epes Industrial Park, is expected to create a minimum of 85 full-time jobs and generate an estimated 180 additional jobs in logging, transportation and local services in the region.

Click here for full story.

For more information, contact Allison Brantley at  (205) 652-3618 or email

Click here to view event photos.
Workforce Development


UWA partnering with AL Power, ACHE for Rural Workforce Development Summit, Nov. 1 

Event expected to advance economic, workforce and rural development across Alabama

The University of West Alabama has joined with Alabama Power Company and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education to announce the slate of speakers and featured panelists for the Alabama Summit on Rural Workforce Development, set for Nov. 1 at the Bell Conference Center on the UWA campus. The event features a broad slate of experts who bring unique perspectives to address rural Alabama's need for building a workforce pipeline and economic development system.
Event coordinators expect the program and expertise that will gather to be a tremendous step forward in economic development, education, and overall quality of life for rural Alabamians.

Click here for full story.

For more information, contact the UWA Division of Economic & Workforce Development. Call 1.833.UWA.WORK.

Register now for WOW Varsity 2019, Oct. 10

WOW Varsity is an event that allows high school and post-secondary students to talk to industry professionals about high-growth, high demand jobs in West Alabama and what they can do to earn those jobs in the future. Taking place during the Worlds of Work event, students 9-12 grades are encouraged to attend with a parent or guardian as they will learn so much about industry sectors and what employment looks like in those occupations. 

This event will take place Thursday, October 10, from  2-6 pm. All students who plan to attend WOW Varsity should pre-register using the link below.

Click here to register for WOW Varsity.
Click here to download event flyer.
Community Outreach
Miss UWA tours  Making Alabama, Bicentennial Exhibit

Miss UWA Caidie Johnson at the Black Belt Museum.

Miss University of West Alabama, Caidie Johnson, visited the Black Belt Museum this past week for a private showing of the Alabama Bicentennial traveling exhibit "Making Alabama, A Bicentennial Exhibit." Johnson learned about the process for setting up the exhibit and the behind the scenes work done by the museum staff.

"As a sophomore at UWA, I had never experienced the museum and this was a great opportunity to do so." said Johnson. "I look forward to visiting again and learning more about the history of Sumter County and the Black Belt region. The interactive tablets give you a great feel for the timeline of Alabama's 200, it was very interactive." 

The traveling exhibit is available to visit weekly, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The museum will be open this Saturday, October 12, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., prior to the Homecoming game.

Click here to view more pictures.

Black Belt Museum staff take to the road

Monica Moore, left, demonstrates weaving.

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 9 - Saturday, Oct. 12, Black Belt Museum staff will participate in the 31st  annual Native American Festival at Moundville Archaeological Park. Brian Mast and Monica Newman Moore will participate in the living history encampment, so that visitors can experience culture and history firsthand.

Brian Mast in living history soldier clothing.

Click here for event information.

Black Belt Museum silent auction Gala winners 

Jessi and August Grayson with the Smilodon (Saber-toothed Cat) skull they won at the Gala silent auction. The skull was made by Black Belt Museum staff on the museum 3D printer.

Black Belt Museum staff Brian Mast, James Lamb, and Tim Truelove with gala attendee Gabe Ward, kneeling bottom right, who won the Fire Ant Nest silent auction. The Fire Ant Nest was made by museum staff by pouring molten aluminum into an ant nest to cast the internal structure. 

Black Belt Museum staff, left to right, James Lamb, Tim Truelove, Daniel Rhodes (museum volunteer), and Brian Mast in front of a dinosaur from Hale County, Ala. at the Gala event.
Don't miss this symposium...

Click here to download the information flyer.

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

Every household will have the option of resonding online, by mail or by phone. 

Click here (this is a two-page pdf file) to  read about how you will be contacted to respond to the CENSUS. 

Visit the official Alabama Counts Census 
website  at 

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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  the
 Certified Automotive Technician flyer.

Click here to download the Certified Nursing Assistant 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 October 11, 18, and 25.  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 |