Governor Ivey Names McCartney and Koblas as New AWC Chair and Vice Chair

On July 10, Gov. Kay Ivey thanked two seasoned industry veterans for their service as the chairman and vice chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council as they rotated off the board. She also appointed the two new AWC leaders who will take their place. The changes were announced at the AWC’s bi-monthly meeting.

Governor Ivey poses for picture with Zeke Smith and George Clark

Tim McCartney was named as the new chairman, while Sandra Koblas of Austal LLC in Mobile was appointed as vice chairman. They assumed the positions from Zeke Smith of Alabama Power (chairman) and George Clark of Manufacture Alabama (vice chairman).

Group poses for picture
Watch and listen to a message from the new chairman by clicking here.

To read more, click on one of these links:  Alabama Today  Alabama Political ReporterGadsden Times.

Photos: Governor Ivey recognizes Zeke Smith (left) and George Clark (right) for their contributions to the AWC.

Sandra Koblas, George Clark, Zeke Smith and Tim McCartney represent the seasoned leadership that started the AWC and those who will continue its mission in moving forward to streamline the needs of business and industry with education to achieve a skilled workforce.

State Has the Best Climate for Business

The accolades for Alabama as a business-friendly state continue to rise, as a national magazine recently named our state as the best in which to conduct business.

According to Business Facilities magazine, Alabama’s successful recruitment of the Toyota-Mazda joint venture automobile manufacturing plant to illustrate the state’s appeal. The project, announced in January 2018, calls for a $1.6 billion investment and 4,000 new jobs in Huntsville.

Read more here.

Guest Column: Groups Align Under Governor Kay Ivey’s Success Plus Initiative

By: Ed Castile

Ed Castile portrait

Alabama is moving quickly in developing a trained workforce that meets the needs of business, with major changes in recent years in how our workforce development system operates.

The process began four years ago when the Alabama Workforce Council recommended a re-alignment of our workforce programs. The Alabama Legislature responded by passing legislation to make the changes possible, and Gov. Kay Ivey, then lieutenant governor, fully supported these measures. Today, Alabama’s workforce landscape is strikingly different.

To read more, click on one of the following links:  YellowhammerAlabama Political Reporter, 4Conservative, and

Canfield Talks Tariffs on Fox Business News

Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield recently appeared on national television to share his thoughts on how recently-announced trade tariffs will affect Alabamians and Alabama. In particular, he referenced the state’s booming auto industry.

Greg Canfield on Fox News for interview

Canfield appeared on the show with host Stuart Varney. Watch here.

Alabama’s Workforce is Thriving

The Alabama Department of Labor recently announced that the state’s June unemployment rate bumped up to 4.1 percent from May’s rate of 3.9 percent. The bump is common during the summer months as both high school and college graduates look to enter the job market, along with some education employees being free as school is out.

But, numbers can be a funny thing when it comes to figuring out the overall picture of Alabama’s workforce. While the unemployment rate is a good indicator, there are many other factors that come into play when getting a full employment picture. And since the Great Recession, Alabama’s workforce numbers have never been better.

Read more here.

Unemployment numbers displayed on Alabama state map

Mackey Touts Education and Teacher Funding

Eric Mackey portrait

Eric Mackey is Alabama’s new superintendent of education. Before this, he was a lobbyist for state school superintendents. Mackey replaces former schools Superintendent Michael Sentance. Recently, Mackey supported Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to arm school administrators at schools that don’t have a school resource officer. His conversation with WBHM’s Sherrel Wheeler Stewart begins with some of the larger issues around school safety.

Ivey in May introduced a plan called the Sentry Program that will allow administrators to use a gun to defend against an armed intruder.

Read more at BirminghamWatch.

Apprenticeship Alabama a Key Part of Success Plus

When Gov. Kay Ivey launched her AlabamaWorks Success Plus initiative a few months ago at Austal USA, she spoke of how important it will be for us, as a state, to have 500,000 people with beyond-high-school credentials.

Success Plus interview on the local news

This will allow Alabama to continue supporting skills-based job opportunities of existing companies, and it will allow our state to remain competitive in attracting new businesses.

Although there are many paths to obtaining skills and credentials, few are as appealing as registered apprenticeships. They are a win/win/win for the apprentice, the company and the community college.

Recently, Apprenticeship Alabama’s Patsy Richards spoke with WAKA about the wonderful opportunities this program provides. Watch her here.


North Alabama Works logo

With the state still buzzing about the new automotive plant coming to Huntsville, NorthAlabamaWorks! Director Micah Bullard and Assistant Director Stephanie McCulloch had a lot to talk about with the guys from The Ford Faction radio program.

Recently, they sat down with the crew and discussed their job clusters, hot employment opportunities and the booming economy in the upper portion of our state, which boasts the second-lowest unemployment rate of the seven regional councils.

Stephanie McCulloch portrait
Micah Bullard portrait

Click hereto listen to the interview on Yellowhammer Radio, WYDE.


  • Modern General Store Is on the Way. The Cullman Times
  • GE to Expand in Decatur. WHNT
  • Coal Company to Re-Open. Yellowhammer
  • Wallace State Community College Students Win Big at SkillsUSA Competition. The Cullman Times.
  • LG Electronics to Build Solar Panels. Alabama Daily News
  • Student Gets Faster Route to Good Career. Decatur Daily
  • BAE Expanding, Adding Hundreds of Jobs.
East Alabama Works logo


West Alabama Works logo


Central Six Alabama Works logo

Jefferson County Students Complete Inaugural Water Reclamation Internship

On June 29, four high school students graduated from the inaugural Jefferson County Commission Water Reclamation High School Career Exploration & Internship Program. This work-based learning program introduces students to and prepares them for a career in water reclamation.

These students are taught the various duties and functions needed to operate the water reclamation facilities in Jefferson County and are exposed to local government structure and networking opportunities.

From eight applications received this year, four students were chosen for the internship, representing the following high schools: Clay-Chalkville, Midfield and Bessemer City. These juniors and seniors participated in a four-week, paid internship beginning on June 5 and concluding on June 29. During the internship, the students participated in various career exposure and practical hands-on work activities that included sampling water, analyzing control samples, reading meters, touring facilities and learning the duties of various water reclamation jobs. The interns also participated in two career education workshops: Time Management and Tips on Developing an Effective Resume. They also met with local leaders and presented a group project to their parents and other Jefferson County staff members.

Central Six AlabamaWorks assisted in the development and execution of the internship program, helping to grow our skilled workforce. Moving forward, Central Six will continue working with Jefferson County to expand the internship for Summer 2019 and assist in promoting the Water Reclamation Facility Apprenticeship Program. The goal is to create a pipeline of interested and capable students to transition to full-time employment opportunities in the environmental services career field. Central Six will continue to work to positively impact the lives of the youth in the region, as well as ensure the sustainability for critical infrastructure in communities.

Interns pose for photo in Central Six region

Photo: Interns include Shemar Spivey (Clay-Chalkville High School); Tamara Slaughter (Clay-Chalkville High School); Ramon Murrell (Midfield High School); and Mi’Kayla Stinson (Bessemer City High School).

Cleggett Discusses New Initiatives on Radio

Antiqua Cleggett portrait

Antiqua Cleggett, director, Central Six AlabamaWorks, recently sat down with the hosts of The Ford Faction to discuss opportunities and events happening in the six-county region.

In her interview, she also mentioned the region’s new initiative, Building (It) Together, which is designed to help the area achieve Gov. Ivey’s Success Plus benchmark of 500,000 post-high-school credentialed workers by 2025.

Click to listen to her interview. Yellowhammer.

Power UP Construction Industry Workshop and Job Fair Welcomes Students

Central Six AlabamaWorks, Power UP,  Associated Builders & Contractors of Alabama and Fairfield High Preparatory School hosted the Power UP Construction Industry Workshop & Job Fair on June 21 at Fairfield High Preparatory School. This event served as an introduction to the construction industry for the Fairfield K-12 system and also served as a hiring fair to connect employers with skilled talent to address their immediate needs. The goal of this event is to supply employers with a qualified pool of talent to fill their immediate needs and provide an opportunity to develop future workers to fill long-term workforce needs.

Power Up Your Future representatives posing for picture

The high school students who attended the event said that they appreciated the “nuggets” and insight company representatives provided them in support of developing their employability skills, and some are more strongly considering construction as a career option. Approximately 65 community residents received the opportunity to directly engage and interview with industry representatives.Thirty percent of attendees have already been hired and are now on a true career pathway. Central Six officials said that they very proud of these accomplishments and look forward to hosting more outreach events of this nature.

Jones Advances Via Coursework at LSCC

Kurt Jones began his employment with Brose right out of high school. Although he was advancing at the company, he was not satisfied with his career path and knew he needed to expand his education.

Jones’ supervisor told him about a Mechatronics Apprenticeship opportunity with Lawson State Community College which guaranteed advancement at Brose upon successful completion of the program. He is continuing to keep his hours at Brose while completing the apprenticeship program.

Watch and listen to his story here.


  • Lawson State Community College Hosts New Coding Initiative for Students. CBS 42
  • Birmingham Should Align Education with Workforce Development.
  • Bobo Talks Career Planning. 280 Reporter
  • High School Senior Finds Calling in Machine Tool Work. Daily Mountain Eagle
  • Girls Get Firsthand Experience With Trades.
  • SHIPT Says 881 Jobs are Coming to Birmingham. Alabama News Center
Central Alabama Works logo

Community College Opens in Prattville

If you’re looking for the advanced manufacturing class in Prattville, it’ll be above the nail salon.

Central Alabama Community College plans to open a facility this fall on the second floor of the Pratt’s Mill strip center, with a focus on workforce development and training for some of the area’s most in-demand jobs.

That includes manufacturing and health care education, as well as noncredit training programs for some of the most sought-after skills, like truck driving.

Read more here.

Committee Reviews Grant Proposals

Central AlabamaWorks! hosted a grant review committee meeting along with subject matter experts to review 15 special pops grants. Six of the seven community colleges in Region 5 applied for funding.

The committee reviewed and scored the applications and made recommendations to the Alabama Community College System for funding.

Team Assists Career Center Staff at Job Fair for Former MasterBrand Cabinets Employees

The Central AlabamaWorks team, along with staff from the Career Center in Opelika, connected dislocated MasterBrand Cabinets employees with 50 employers/vendors at a recent job fair hosted by the Opelika Career Center and Southern Union State Community College.

At the event, 251 workers registered with the Career Center and were assisted in securing additional resources and possible employment. In addition, several of the participants connected with another cabinet maker in the area.

CVCC Helps Veteran Prepare for Next Career

After 21 years in the military, Kenneth Gowins was struggling to find a job in the civilian world. He credits the instructors at Chattahoochee Valley Community College and their relationships with local industry for the opportunity he had to learn a trade while also receiving on-the-job training. Gowins is currently employed as a blacksmith for the city of Columbus, Georgia.

Watch him talk about his experience here.


  • Pipe Company is En Route. Selma Times-Journal
  • Hyundai Makes Major Announcement.WSFA
  • Trenholm Announces First Automotive Tech Class in the State. Alabama News
  • Auburn is a Magnet for International Precision. Business Alabama
  • Company Starts Up. Birmingham Business Journal
  • Auburn University is the First to Use Robot for Construction Project. WTVM
  • Southern Union Gets New President. O-A News
Southeast Alabama Works logo

HR Specialist at WCC-Dothan Chosen for Program

A human resource specialist from Wallace Community College-Dothan has been chosen by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources to participate in CUPA-HR’s 2018-19 Emerging Leaders program.

Keyashia Sheppard is one of six members of CUPA-HR to be chosen for the exclusive course of study.

To read more, click here.

Image of hired HR Specialist

Job Fair in Dothan Attracts Thousands; Many Positions are Still Available

In mid-July, the Wiregrass hosted a job fair at Northview High School for Fort Rucker and hundreds of businesses in the area. Thousands arrived dressed to impress, with resumes’ in hand, to learn about opportunities with local companies.

Watch footage of the event on WTVY.

Fitzgerald Washington interview photo

Many jobs are still available. To see learn more, click here.


  • Council Approves Permanent Financing for Kimber. Troy Messenger
  • Rex Lumber Announces Investment, Jobs. WSFA
SAWDC Alabama Works logo


Statewide Headlines

National Headlines

  • Younger Generation Missing Out on Skilled Jobs. WOSU
  • Pruitt Exits EPA. Alabama Today
  • Employers Vie for Foreign Workers. The Randle Report
  • Skills You Need for the Future. The Randle Report
  • IDA Creates Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Weststar Communications
  • Builders Coping with Construction Worker Shortage. USA Today
  • Trucker Shortage Could Undermine Booming Economy. MSN
  • Jos are Plentiful; Workers are Not. FOXNews
  • Jobs Added, But Unemployment Rises. USA Today
  • Interim EPA Chief Is Former Coal Lobbyist. Energy Central
  • Trade Deficit Drops in May. Alabama Daily News
  • Apprenticeships Are Thriving in Chicago. The Hill
  • Contractors, Tech and Education Will Bridge Workforce Gap. Energy Central

About AlabamaWorks!
AlabamaWorks is a network of interconnected providers of workforce services, including all of the governmental, educational and private-sector components that train, prepare and match job seekers with employers.