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Governor Ivey Delivers Keynote Address at AlabamaWorks! Winning at Workforce Event

Gov. Kay Ivey delivered the keynote address at the recent AlabamaWorks! Workforce Conference, Winning at Workforce. The event was held last week in Birmingham.

Watch a clip from her speech here.

governor kay ivey profile image

During the panel discussion, Ed Castile, Department of Commerce/AIDT; Josh Laney, Alabama Department of Education; Tim McCartney, Alabama Workforce Council; Fitzgerald Washington, Alabama Department of Labor; Jane Burdeshaw, Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services; and Jeff Lynn, Alabama Community College System, shared updates from their areas.

“The ACCS has pockets of excellence and areas of opportunity,” said Lynn. “We run our operations like a business and hold ourselves accountable (for result).”

Lynn added that the system conducts occupational forecasting to determine which courses will be offered by a community college within its local area.

Burdeshaw shared that the unemployment rate for disabled individuals in Alabama is nearly three times that of able-bodied individuals; however, she and her department are working to combat that. “We work for the individual and are experts in building partnerships with employers and other groups,” she said.

McCartney said that he and other members of the Alabama Workforce Council are passionate about workforce development. “Our current focus is Success Plus, and we have five standing committees to address issues,” he said.

From employment and unemployment standpoints, Washington that pointed out that rates are at their highest and unemployment rates are at their lowest points ever. “If someone wants a job, then he or she can get a job.”

Laney stated that the ALSDE is disrupting the way it normally operates to achieve success. “We are focusing on credentials and increasing the positive perception of career technical education.”

Three regions were recognized for their outstanding performance in workforce development. The team from West AlabamaWorks received first place for its outstanding efforts in workforce innovation, while North AlabamaWorks! and East AlabamaWorks received second place and third place, respectively.

Other general session presentations included WEE Cats K-12, an initiative to teach basic workforce skills in pre-k; Industry 4.0, a look into interconnectivity among factory equipment using cloud-based data and Flex Factor, an innovative way to educate and connect young people with manufacturers; a prison-to-work presentation from Russell DuBose of Phifer Wire and Brad Newman of ZF Industries; an apprenticeship update from Rep. Napoleon Bracy Jr. with Austal USA; and Go Build Alabama’s Jason Phelps discussing opportunities within the construction industry.

Breakout sessions included Substance Abuse in the Workplace, Camera-Ready Communities, Child Labor and updates from each of the seven regions.

Read more here.

Why We Value AlabamaWorks!

By: Tony E. Wojciechowski, chief human resources officer, Hyundai Power Transformers, USA

Robin Ricks, recruitment, workforce development/public relations specialist HPTU

It’s a good time to be living in Alabama. Our economy is booming. Our unemployment rate is reaching record lows. People are getting jobs and the training they need. Companies, like ours, are expanding. Our state, and our people, are prospering.

This is great for us as a whole, but it can be challenging for businesses like ours. The competition for employees is fierce. We needed an avenue to help us get an edge in the recruiting world.

Read more here.

GOEWT Formed to Implement Education and Workforce Initiatives

The Governor’s Office of Education and Workforce Transformation has been established to implement Gov. Ivey’s Strong Start, Strong Finish education initiative and workforce development strategic plan by coordinating workforce development and education for the state of Alabama.

The GOEWT is housed within the Office of the Governor, is led by the coordinator of the GOEWT, and is charged with the goals of increasing the labor force participation rate, surpassing the Alabama post-secondary attainment goal and creating career pathways in all 16 career clusters for in-school youth, out-of-school youth, adults, at-risk populations and disconnected populations.

To meet the aforementioned goals, the GOEWT will focus on three primary objectives: Braiding Alabama’s federal education and workforce development funding streams to support an education-to-workforce pipeline; creating and managing the Alabama Terminal for Linking and Analyzing Statistics; and establishing the Alabama Industry-Recognized and Registered Apprenticeship program.

Central AlabamaWorks! Hosts Career Discovery

Central AlabamaWorks connected career opportunities with more than 2,500 students in the 13 counties it represents with Career Discovery at Trenholm State’s Patterson Campus in Montgomery. Dozens of companies and organizations across a variety of industries showcased the career opportunities available for those still uncertain about what they want to be when they grow up.

Watch the video.

Butler County Employers Look to Teachers to Stem the Rising Tide of Immaturity

On April 11, teachers in Butler County got to take a field trip of their own. They met with a few local companies to determine how to best prepare students for their working careers later in life. Tyler Carter, operations manager for Ref Alabama, Inc., shared a story of how he’s finding many young workers are not mature enough to enter the workforce.

For more, click here.

Central Six AlabamaWorks! Hosts WOW

Central Six hosted its second Worlds of Work event for thousands of eighth-graders to showcase careers in four different industry segments: Manufacturing, industry/electrical, health care and IT.

Companies from across the six-county region and beyond sent representatives to participate in the Birmingham event.

See media coverage here.

High School Seniors Interview for Jobs

High school seniors by the hundreds took part in WOW 2.0 at Shelton State Community College on April 16, where they presented resumes and interviewed with employers in the area.

The event is an off-shoot of West AlabamaWorks’ “Worlds of Work” expo, an annual event that introduces different trades to both middle-schoolers and high-schoolers.

In its premiere last year, there were about 150 students who interviewed for jobs. This year, nearly 800 took part. WOW 2.0 continued for high school juniors the following day.

Read more.

Alabama Maintains Record Low Unemployment Rate; Employment at Record High

The number of people counted as employed in Alabama is at a record high, announced Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington.

“Once again, we’ve shattered employment records in Alabama,” Washington said. “More people are working now than ever before in Alabama’s history. Employers are continuing to post jobs, companies are moving operations, and our existing businesses are expanding–all of which is great news for Alabamians.”

Read more here.

Thousands Participate in East AlabamaWorks’ Worlds of Work Exposition in Oxford

More than 7,000 students attended the Worlds of Work exposition in Oxford. They were exposed to jobs across all types of disciplines from manufacturing to film-making. This was East AlabamaWorks’ fourth year hosting Worlds of Work.

The region’s next WOW event is scheduled for March 10-13, 2020, at the Oxford Civic Center.

Read more about this event here.



  • Kappler Chemical Protective Gear has Moments on the Silver Screen but a Leading Role in our Safety. The Sand Mountain Reporter
  • HCS Student Wins Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship. Huntsville City Schools 
  • Chamber Chair Kim Lewis: “We Need to Create a Trained Workforce.” Huntsville Business Journal
  • Skilled to Work: Veterans Use Service Experience to Transition into the Skilled Trades. WAAY ABC 31
  • Gov. Kay Ivey Announces 400 New Jobs in Athens at a $50 Million Toyota Boshoku Facility.
  • Alabama Community College System Expanding Aerospace, Manufacturing Programs.


  • Fourth-Graders Explore Careers in Their Community. ABC 33/40
  • GSCC Holds Session on New Tech Program. The Gadsden Times
  • Gadsden State Community College Receives Grant to Support Manufacturing Program Curriculum. WVTM 13 

Educator Workforce Academy Class Tours Phifer Inc., and McAbee Construction

The 2018-2019 Educator Workforce Academy class learned more about the manufacturing and construction industries as they toured Phifer Incorporated and McAbee Construction. They also participated in a welding demonstration.

Read the details here.


Central Six Welcomes New Coordinator

Central Six has hired Taja Traylor as project manager. Traylor has a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from Mississippi State University and serves as an industry cluster coordinator.

Prior to her current position, she worked as an employment specialist for Monster.Com, covering the Northeast Mississippi region by assisting employers in taking an innovative approach to acquire qualified job seekers through behavioral and social targeting.

Before her work as an employment specialist, Traylor worked in North America Recruiting for International Paper Company in Memphis.

Both roles utilized her ability to create customized solutions for her clients through innovation, creativity, strategic analysis and communication.


  • Opportunity Zone Rules Seek More Capital in Distressed Areas.  Alabama NewsCenter
  • Harbert, Weaver and Sons, Brasfield & Gorrie Selected for Airbus Assembly Line.
  • McLeod Software Opens Hoover Headquarters.
  • Birmingham to Host International Events for Aerospace, Automotive Sectors. Birmingham Business Journal



  • HSAA Expansion to Bring 168 New Jobs to Enterprise. The Enterprise Ledger
  • Southeast AlabamaWorks Holds Distribution Cluster Meeting. WTVY 4
  • Enterprise State Community College Allows High School Students to Earn College Credits in a Specialized Program. Dothan Eagle
  • Lockheed Martin Signs Letters of Intent with Charles Henderson Seniors. Alabama News Network
  • Workforce Development Officials Tout New High School Graduates as Next Vital Labor Source. Dothan Eagle
  • Troy Hosts Educator Workforce Academy Session. Troy Today


  • Employment in the South Baldwin Area Shows an Increase of 2.5% from 2017. Gulf Coast News Today
  • Four Alabama Firms Will Work on New Airbus Line. Made in Alabama
  • Deepening The Port of Mobile Will Reap Economic Rewards.
  • Career and Technical Education Courses Match Up with U.S. Job Opportunities. The 74
  • South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce Hosts Youth Apprenticeship Signing Day. South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce

Statewide Headlines

National Headlines

  • Shrinking U.S. Trade Gap, China Growth Bode Well For Global Economy.   The Randle Report
  • What Should K-12 Students Know About Artificial Intelligence? EDWEEK Market Brief

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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