Alabama Power donates to UWA College of Business

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Alabama Power presented UWA’s College of Business with a $150,000 gift toward the applied manufacturing technology degree.

Alabama Power presented UWA’s College of Business with a $150,000 gift toward the applied manufacturing technology degree.

By SHELBY CAMPBELL / The Demopolis Times

New plans were made at the University of West Alabama with a visit from Alabama Power employees to the quarterly Board of Trustees meeting Monday afternoon.

UWA President John Blackwell was pleased to announce that Alabama Power would be donating a gift of $150,000 to the College of Business for the applied manufacturing technology degree.

“This is one of the bright spots, and it is getting brighter every day,” said Alabama Power employee Mark Crews. “It’s about getting smaller victories and moving forward.”

The College of Business’ goal is to establish a Center for Academic Retention and Engagement (CARE Center). The money provided by Alabama Power will provide the facility with its physical needs, such as welding equipment, as well as workforce development.

“We will become a center of influence in workforce development, and we will be able to train students through this program to get good jobs in the future,” said Blackwell on the new degree.

The generous donation from Alabama Power will help to renovate the automotive technology facility, and this will allow students to enter the program at a faster rate, according to Ken Tucker, Dean of the College of Business.

Once the facility is renovated, the applied manufacturing technology program will begin. Students will complete the program in less than 12 months, according to Tucker.

By partnering with Mercedes, UWA will offer students a 60 percent tuition discount for their first semester. Mercedes will continue to pay 100 percent of each student’s tuition for the following semesters as long as they maintain a 3.0 grade point average or higher.

“Without Alabama Power, we would not be where we are today with workforce development and skills management,” Tucker said.

Through the applied manufacturing technology program, Mercedes will guarantee jobs to the top 75 percent of the class upon graduation.

“This program will bring great attention to the university because of our partnership with a company like Mercedes,” Blackwell added.

Programs such as this are a great opportunity for the students at UWA, which adds to the overall experience for the students

“I’m not a student or a number,” said Miss UWA Paige Ip about her experience at UWA. “I’m a person. And that’s why I love this university.”