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


UWA partners with AL Power and ACHE for Rural Workforce Development Summit
Limited registration time

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.

Economic Development
UWA's Division of Economic and Workforce Development awarded $509,000 DRA grant
Envia project investment for Port of Epes i ndustrial park utilities extension

The University of West Alabama has been awarded a $509,000 grant by Delta Regional Authority for the  Port Epes Industrial Park Utilities Extension. The DRA funds will be used to upgrade and extend the water and sewer system in the Port Epes Industrial Park site for Enviva, the largest wood pellet producer in the country. This investment is projected to create 85 new jobs.

Click here for  full story.

For more information can the project, UWA's Division of Economic and Workforce Development at 1-833-UWA-WORK.

Automotive Technician student, Tiffany Cornay, earns National Career Readiness Certificate at the Platinum Level

UWA student Tiffany Conway and Instructor Curtis Jones work 
on a vehicle in the Automotice Technician department.

Tiffany Cornay, a participant in UWA's Entry-Level Automotive Technician Program, earned a National Career Readiness Certificate at the Platinum Level last month. This certificate is a result of her completion of the ACT WorkKeys, a workplace skills assessment that  measures an individual's level of skill in three areas: Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. These skills are relevant to all occupations in any industry, making the NCRC a valuable credential for those that want to showcase their skills when seeking employment or making a change in careers. Platinum is the highest level of achievement on this exam and indicates that an individual has the skills necessary to perform 99% of jobs profiled.
Cornay began UWA's Entry-Level Automotive Technician Program in August of 2019 and is on track to complete the program in November. "The automotive industry is always advancing, and I love to learn. I really chose this program because I saw it as an awesome opportunity to turn a hobby into a career," said Cornay. "This program isn't just about learning what it takes to fix a vehicle. They've helped me get CPR-certified, taught me how to write a resume, helped me prepare for interviews, and so much more. I hope that through this program, I can find a job that will help me further my education even more."

Tiffany Cornay and UWA Automotive Technician Instructor Curtis Jones
UWA's Entry-Level Automotive Technician Program is designed as a career pathway to assist young people living in West Alabama and the Black Belt Region develop the skills necessary to begin a career in the automotive industry. This free program is open to individuals between 18 and 24 who are out of school and meet other eligibility  requirements. The program receives federal funding administered through Alabama's Region 3 WIOA board. For more information, please contact Jordan Mahaffey, WIOA Program Director, at 205-652-5494.

Community Outreach
"People of Alabama" recognizes UWA's Brian Mast

The Black Belt Museum's Brian Mast is included in the Alabama Bicentennial feature, "People of Alabama."

The Black Belt Museum's Pubic Historian Brian Mast was featured in "People of Alabama," an Alabama Media Group and Alabama 200 partnership, which shares the faces and stories of people from all walks of life who call Alabama home.

"This is my passion. I like the classroom, but I also like leaving the classroom, being able to take the kids and bring something out there to them where they're not just sitting behind desks," said Mast. "Kids and individuals across the board learn history better via stories than just reading about it in a book."

Click here  for the full story.

20th Annual Teacher Fossil Workshop held at UWA
Andy Rindsberg works with fossil workshop participant.

Staff from the University of West Alabama, including the Black Belt Museum and Natural Sciences and Math Division (James Lamb, Andy Rindsberg) , and the Geological Survey of Alabama (David Kopaska-Merkel) conducted the 20th Annual Teacher Fossil Workshop on October 15. The workshop is an opportunity for earth science teachers to gain real-world field experience from professionals in the earth science field. Teachers complete a lesson plan and take the experience back to the classroom, along with credit towards contnuing ed. Most years the workshop takes place outdoors and involves fossil collecting at an active research site of museum staff.

This years workshop was moved indoors due to inclement weather. Twenty eight students along with the three instructors, plus five volunteers from the Birmingham Paleontological Society met at the ALFA Center and conducted an excercise in paleoenvironmental reconstruction using rock samples from the Early Eocene ~ 55 million years ago. Participants picked out shells from samples of the rock, then identified them using published references. The environmental preferences of each fossil species was then plotted using data from living relatives and comparision to other fossil sites, as an example of how paleoenvironmental reconstructions are accomplished. 

Participants also received instructional books and posters for their clasrooms.  The workshop is supported by the University of West Alabama, the Geological Survey of Alabama, the Geological Society of Alabama, and the Birmingham Paleontological Society.

Displaying the Geological Survey Map of Alabama are, left to right, David Kopaska-Merkel (Geological Survey of Alabama), Vicki Lais (Birmingham Paleontological Society), and James Lamb, 
(UWA Black Belt Museum Director).

Don't miss this symposium...

Click here to download the information flyer.
Attention farmers...
"Sweet Grown Alabama" seeks new members

"Sweet Grown Alabama" now accepting applications. (aldailynews)

The state's new agricultural branding program Sweet Grown Alabama is now accepting membership applications from growers.
The new initiative is intended to enhance marketing opportunities for Alabama farmers and their products. Growers can apply to have their products carry the "Sweet Grown Alabama" logo and be placed in an online searchable database of state agricultural products.
Click here for full story.

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 25; November 1, 8, 15 and 22.  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 |