Seminar hopes to help prepare residents to enter workforce

Published 11:57 pm Friday, September 23, 2016

By Blake Deshazo | The Selma Times-Journal
Thousands of people travel to Selma every day for work, but Hollis Wormsby with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development hopes to see more Selma residents hired.

HUD, along with the city of Selma, the Selma Housing Authority, the Dallas County Department of Human Resources, the Selma Career Center and the Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority are hosting the summit Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Selma High School and the Selma Convention Center.

“With the work that HUD’s been doing trying to help with evaluating a revitalization strategy for Selma, one of the first things we identified was a need for better job training and incentives to get people involved in job training,” Wormsby said.  “That’s a part of the task that was my highest priority during my work there.”

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The summit will be divided into two parts, one for high school students and one for adults.

The youth part of the summit will be held at Selma High School from 9-11:30 a.m.

“We realized that if we could get to kids while they were still in school, that that was probably an even bigger accomplishment,” Wormsby said. “So we started reaching out trying to find a way to do that.”

The adult portion of the summit will be at the convention center from 1-4 p.m.

“Some people have been out of the system and really nobody has talked to them in a long time,” Wormsby said.  “So we wanted to talk to people and give them the vision that there is a better way of living.”

Wormsby hopes people leave the summit motivated.

“What I hope to accomplish from the process is to make people aware of the opportunities to get them motivated to pursue the opportunities,” Wormsby said.

“And for them to be able to build in their mind a bridge from where they are to this training process to a sustainable employment history.”

The summit will feature speakers from Wallace Community College Selma, Concordia, the Selma Career Center and employers in Selma and Dallas County.

“We have three large employers, Bush Hog, International Paper and Regions Bank, that are coming out to talk to the youth and the residents about what employers want,” Wormsby said.

Entry to the summit is free, and anyone interested in employment is encouraged to attend.