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Former Inmates Get a Second Chance via Program in West Alabama

A new program is being test-driven at Phifer Inc. that would allow former inmates to gain employment at the company and help them transition to a world behind bars. It was borne out of a prison ministry in which ZF Chasiss System’s Plant Manager Brad Newman participates.

Watch as Newman and Russell DuBose, HR leader at Phifer Inc., discuss the concept behind the endeavor, including housing, transportation and mentorship.

Click here to view the video.

Governor Holds Second Annual Job Fair for People with Disabilities

The Alabama Career Center System / Alabama Department of Labor, in partnership with the Office of the Governor, the City of Huntsville, United Ability, the Alabama Department of Rehab Services, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Governor’s office on Disability, and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind hosted a job fair for those with disabilities.

The job fair was on Oct. 25, which was during National Disability Awareness Month. NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about the issues that disabled people face while trying to find employment. The second annual job fair attracted hundreds of potential employees and 87 companies.

“The tremendous success of last year’s event was extremely encouraging to those of us in the labor exchange field,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Alabamians want to work — and that includes those with disabilities. Employers need employees, especially now when our employment rate is so low. Our mission at ADOL is to match employers with employees, and that’s what we will do.”

man in wheelchair using computer

Number of Employees Reaches Record Levels Again

For the sixth month in a row, a record number of people are working in Alabama. In October, the number of people counted as employed measured 2,122,970, which tops last month’s record breaking number of 2,117,359, and is 40,377 more than October 2017’s count of 2,082,593. The number of people counted as unemployed dropped as well, measuring 89,754, down from September’s count of 90,818.

Read more here.

Apprenticeship Alabama Hosts Summit in Recognition of National Apprenticeship Week

Apprenticeship Alabama, which is part of AIDT, held its annual recognition of National Apprenticeship Week with a summit on Nov. 14, at Trenholm State Community College. More than 150 people attended the event.

Some of the guest speakers included Ed Castile, AIDT; Frank Chestnut and Patsy Richards, Apprenticeship Alabama; Nick Moore, Office of the Governor; Lori Bearden, Alabama Department of Commerce; Michael, United States Department of Labor; Isaac McCoy, Stillman College; Garfield Garner, USDOL;  and Josh Laney, Alabama State Department of Education.

The event also featured a panel that discussed discussed community colleges, youth apprenticeships and parents/businesses.

Watch the WSFA coverage here.

Garner, second from left, receives special recognition for his decades of work with the USDOL Apprenticeship Program. With him are Munnerlyn, Moore, Castile, Nelson and Chestnut.

AIDT’s Maritime Training Center Receives Gold Endorsement from CGIA

The Central Gulf Industrial Alliance has awarded its gold level of recognition to the Maritime Training Center’s  pipefitter program. This is a step above last year’s silver level endorsement.

The CGIA Endorsement Program involves industry subject matter experts who evaluate the program’s curriculum, training standards, safety standards, facilities, etc., to determine if the program meets industry standards to earn an endorsement at the gold, silver, or bronze level.

Receiving a gold level endorsement certifies that a company is operating at a level that will highly satisfy any local industry employer’s requirements, should they decide to hire someone from that program. To date, 34 programs have been reviewed and only  seven have received a gold level endorsement.

CGIA  a regional alliance composed of 41 industrial employers and nine training organizations. CGIA’s focus is to provide industry performance in the areas of workforce development, work safety, quality, and productivity.

Register Now for the Governor’s Work-Based Learning Summit

Governor Kay Ivey will be hosting a work-based learning summit on Wed., Jan. 10, at the Embassy Suites in Montgomery. It will feature programs such as dual enrollment, Apprenticeship Alabama and other pathways to careers that will help Alabama gain an extra 500,000 credentialed workers by 2025.

This important event is a must for those wanting to learn more about these and other programs. To learn more, click here.



  • New Calhoun Training Program Offers Education.  Decatur Daily.
  • Breaking Ground for the Future. Cullman Times
  • Boeing Gives $250,000 Grant for Workforce Development. Rocket City Now
  • TVA to Build Largest Solar Farms Ever in Tennessee, Alabama. Times Free Press
  • Manufacturing Is Cool at GE Appliances’ Refrigerator Factory. Assembly Magazine
  • Decatur is a Full Partner in Space Race. Decatur Daily
  • Economic Growth of $4.1 Billion is Coming to Huntsville and North Alabama. WAAY
  • NW-SCC is Moving Forward with Plans for New Advanced Manufacturing Center. Shoals Insider
  • Career Fair Focuses on Middle Schoolers. Cullman Sense
  • NextFlex Teams up with Boeing for Second National Expansion of Workforce Development Program. Business Wire
  • Johns Manville Company Announces Completion of Expansion. Business Wire
  • Ground Breaks for Mazda-Toyota Plant. The Randle Report


  • East AlabamaWorks Partners with Boys & Girls Clubs. The Gadsden Times
  • Passport to be Made in Alabama.
  • GP Completes $100 Million Investment in Lumber Mill.
  • New Flyer Opens $25 Million Expansion. Anniston Star


  • May the Best Robot Win: BEST Robotics Competition at Shelton State. Tuscaloosa News

Central Six, Alabama Power Host Manufacturing Industry Cluster Meeting

Central Six held a manufacturing cluster meeting at the Alabama Power Technology Application Center on Nov. 7th. Before the meeting began, attendees were given a tour of the building. Joel Watts and Cheryl McFarland of Alabama Power gave demonstrations on how they were making companies more efficient across the state. The meeting then began with a presentation from Stacia Gaines from Altec, to hear who Central Six was from a company’s perspective. Following that, there were speakers from Adah International and the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce who highlighted their efforts in apprenticeship and youth programs in manufacturing. The meeting ended with a end of the year review and planning for next year’s strategy.

Joel Watts from Alabama Power demonstrates the powder coating process during the tour of the Technology Application Center.




  • Many Wiregrass Employers Would Consider Hiring Nonviolent Felons. Dothan Eagle
  • Hwashin Anounces $26 Million Expansion, to Create 50 Jobs in Butler County.
  • SAMC Becomes Southeast Health. WTVY
  • Ozark Designation Signals Readiness for Foreign Direct Investment. Dothan Eagle
  • Students Learn Career Options While Touring Twitchell Factory. Dothan Eagle
  • Businesses Can Play Major Role in Workforce Development, State Education Official says. Dothan Eagle
  • Martha Roby: YouthBuild Eufaula is Making a Difference in Barbour County. Alabama Today
  • Wallace-Dothan Medical Coding Program Named Top Program in Alabama. WTVY
  • EHS Holds Coffee County College Fair. Southeast Sun
  • ESCC Starting Renovation Projects in Coffee County. Southeast Sun
  • Dothan City School Principals Brainstorm Strategies for Success. Dothan Eagle
  • Youngsters thrilled to learn about agriculture during NPF’s Kindergarten Day in Dothan. Dothan Eagle
  • Robotics Teaches Wiregrass Area Students Collaboration and Patience. Dothan Eagle
  • Fort Rucker Thrift Shop presents Coffee County Teacher Grants. Southeast Sun
  • A Tip of the Hard Hat to the Making of a Utility Lineman. Dothan Eagle
  • Aviation College Begins New CDL program. Dothan Eagle

Congratulations, Choctaw County!

SAWDC AlabamaWorks congratulates Choctaw County for becoming certified as an ACT Work Ready Community! Click here to learn more about ACT Work Ready Communities.


Statewide Headlines

  • Alabama is 9th in nation for student loan debt.

National Headlines

  • Is America Running Out of Workers? The Randle Report
  • How to Train Employees for Non-Existent Future Jobs.Meltwater
  • Millennial Males Leave Hole in Hot Labor Market. The Randle Report
  • Worker Availability is Driving Decisions for Relocation. SC Digest

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.

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