Agencies come together for workforce summit

Published 9:57 pm Friday, January 20, 2017

Selma Mayor Darrio Melton and the city of Selma are partnering with the Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority, the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Information, the Selma Career Center, Alabama Department of Commerce, AIDT, Alabama Works and the Dallas County Commission to host a workforce summit.

The summit will be aimed at human resource directors, small business owners, educators and healthcare professionals. The event will be Friday, Jan. 27 in the Community Room of the Dallas County Family Resource Center.

Wayne Vardaman, executive director of the Economic Development Authority of Selma and Dallas County and the vice president of Workforce Development in region five said he is looking forward to the summit and everything that will be discussed to help local industry.

“This is just an accomplishment for us to be able to put on one of these this quickly,” Vardaman said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

Vardaman said there are around 5,200 people that come into Selma every day to work that don’t live in the city, because a lot of people that are in Selma and are unemployed are not qualified, and that is what they are trying to change.

“It’s important to try to reduce the group of unemployed people out there and train them and give them some opportunities, but it’s also important for the health of our companies to be able to provide them with good quality workers,” she said. “Mayor Melton wanted to try to convey to our businesses both retail, small business and manufacturing distribution as well as health care and government, the different type of programs that were out there and available to subsidize the training of our workforce.”

The summit will feature information on new regional alignment for workforce development and corresponding new programs that can help businesses reduce employment costs and assist in developing a better-trained workforce.

“This is an opportunity for rebranding the workforce climate in Selma while simultaneously engaging all economic development partners,” Melton said.

Vardaman said Fitzgerald Washington, the secretary of labor with the Alabama Department of Labor will be there to speak about some of the new programs along with other individuals involved in industry.

“It will be a program where executives, heads of industries, manufacturing, human resources and more can come and learn better ways to train their people and ways to subsidize some of the programs,” Vardaman said.

Vardaman said those wanting to attend the summit can call Kathy King and the Center for Commerce at 875-8365 for more information.