West Alabama group receives national recognition, funding from Carnegie

West Alabama Works
Executive Director of West AlabamaWorks! Donny Jones at a press conference Tuesday to announce the grant. (West AlabamaWorks!)

10 organizations across the country were selected to receive $200,000 grants from the Carnegie Corporation in New York through its Profiles in Collective Leadership—and one of the those selected is right here in Alabama.

West AlabamaWorks! held a news conference Tuesday morning to announce it was one of the recipients of the grants from Carnegie and education nonprofit Transcend. The workforce division of the West Alabama Chamber serves nine counties and provides assistance with:

  • Finding employment and employees
  • Student jobs
  • Hiring events
  • Job training

“Being selected for Profiles in Collective Leadership is a testament to our ongoing commitment to the students, educators, and businesses in our community. The funding will allow West AlabamaWorks! to continue connecting the education system to our workforce through programs like the Educator Workforce Academy and K–12 Career Pathways. It is an honor to receive national recognition for our efforts in West Alabama.”

~ Donny Jones, Executive Director of West AlabamaWorks!
West Alabama Works
West AlabamaWorks! helps people get connected to the workforce. (West AlabamaWorks! Facebook)

What made West AlabamaWorks! stand out?

“We launched Profiles based on our belief that communities across the country are working to create opportunities for economic and social mobility as well as civic engagement irrespective of red, blue, or purple politics — and we want to listen and learn from them. The 10 winners are leading examples of this type of collaborative work on the local level, and our hope is that by spotlighting and funding their efforts, we can ultimately influence the field to work in new and collective ways that also mitigate the impact of polarization.”

~ LaVerne Evans Srinivasan, vice president of the Carnegie’s National Program and program director of Education

West AlabamaWorks! was one of 10 organizations across the country to receive the grant and one of two in the southeast, joining the BlueSky Tennessee Institute in Chattanooga. There were likely several reasons why Carnegie selected West AlabamaWorks! but the corporation specifically mentioned:

  • Modern Manufacturing Center of Excellence to set people up in careers with car manufacturing plants
  • Building Hope Alabama which assists justice-involved people in getting jobs
  • Opportunities for students pre-K through high school graduation

Learn more about West AlabamaWorks!

“Our mission is to promote economic prosperity throughout our region with well-managed, coordinated, integrated, and quality support services for employers, job seekers, students, and educators at all levels. Additionally, we are a catalyst in securing additional funding through grants, investors, and other workforce funding agencies and programs. “

~ West AlabamaWorks! website

You can find out more about how West AlabamaWorks! can help you on their website including links to a job board, the Building Hope website, I.G.N.I.T.E. Student Jobs, and a calendar of events. Some of those events coming up in April include:

  • April 3, 10 a.m. – Healthcare industry cluster meeting
  • April 10, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. – WOW 2.0 for high school seniors interested in interviewing for jobs
  • April 18, 2 p.m. – Pickens County Hiring Event
  • April 25, 2 p.m. – Sumter County Hiring Event
West Alabamaworks!
Executive Director of West AlabamaWorks Donny Jones at a press conference Tuesday to announce the grant. (West AlabamaWorks!)

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Caleb Turrentine
Caleb Turrentine
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