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Appreciation event held for city’s industries

UWA officials speak on workforce certification efforts

The Demopolis Industrial Development Board welcomed leaders of local industries to a special appreciation luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 26, at Rooster Hall.

DIDB Chair Diane Brooker welcomed guests and presented the immediate past chairman, Woody Collins, with a special plaque for his services. He was also recognized for his efforts in bringing Two Rivers Lumber to Demopolis, a new industry that recently began operation.

UWA’s Tina Jones and speaks to local industry leaders about the WorkReady Certification process.

“Through his hard work, he put together a deal that brought Two Rivers and 120 new jobs to our area,” Brooker said.

The speakers at the event were representatives from the University of West Alabama who spoke on the ACT National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) and ACT WorkKeys, which are programs that help match workforce development efforts to improve the labor force and create a career-ready labor force.

The NCRC is a certification process that verifies a person’s skill level for potential employers and demonstrates their commitment to success. The WorkKeys assessments measure workplace skills that are essential to job success.

Currently, job training and industrial leaders are working to make Marengo County an ACT Work Ready certified community. In order to meet that goal, a certain number of employers must commit to utilizing the certification program as part of its hiring process. According to Tina Jones, Executive Director of Workforce Development and Career Readiness at UWA, Marengo has several businesses and industries already on board, including WestRock, Foster Farms, CEMEX, Prystup Packaging and Trustmark Bank.

“Some of the benefits of the program is a better quality hire, less turnover, reduction in the hiring time, and a shorter training period,” Jones said.

Among the nine counties in Region 3 of the work force development plan, two have met all obligations for certification, those being Sumter and Tuscaloosa.

In addition to industry and business leaders, Bill Ashley, the new president of Shelton State Community College was on hand.

Also on hand from SSCC was Mike Fields, the Director of Workforce Outreach, who reported that the Demopolis truck driving school continues to be near enrollment capacity.

To learn more about WorkReady, visit workreadycommunities.org.