Workforce development key part of Commerce annual banquet

Published 5:51 pm Saturday, February 25, 2017

Workforce development was a key part of this year’s Centre For Commerce 13th annual meeting, which was held Thursday night at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center.

Ed Castile, deputy secretary of Commerce, Workforce Development Division and director of AIDT, was the evening’s speaker.

“If you have ever had to hire people, if you have ever had to replace somebody, you know that is tough,” Castile said. “Workforce is not easy.”

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Castile said Selma was fortunate to have Wallace Community College Selma to help train employees.

“They do a good job. They have some interesting programs that they are working into,” Castile said. “The world of work today for our employees and employers is extremely challenging. It offers a lot of opportunities, but it is extremely challenging.”

Castille also talk about changes and updates within the Alabama Department of Commerce and industry recruitment.

In addition to Castile’s remarks, the Centre of Commerce staff, officers and directors were introduced.

This year’s Centre of Commerce board includes Aubrey Carter, chair; Andy Stewart, vice chair; Connie Messer, secretary; Kim Smith, treasurer; Lee Calame; Davis Henry; and Catesby Jones.

Boards for the Selma and Dallas County Economic Development Authority and the Selma and Dallas County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism were also introduced.

Stewart challenged guests to promote Selma and to challenge negative perceptions some might have of the community.

“We need to tell the story of our community and not let everyone outside of here tell our story,” Stewart said. “Selma has been great for a long time. I’ve been here a long time, and I don’t plan on ever leaving because it’s been such a great place to live. It always has been and continues to be. We just let everyone outside our town and our community take shots at us.”

EDA board members are Andy Stewart, Loren Allday, Cheyenne Bradford, Jim Bruce, Clay Carmichael, Aubrey Cater, Davis Henry, Catesby Jones, Rex Jones, David McCormack, Ed McCurdy, Connie Messer, Randall Miller, Jon Moore, David Ousley, James Patterson, Owen Peak, Darrell Steward, Steen Taylor, Tim Wood and Ronnie Yarbrough.

Chamber board members are Aubrey Cater, Lee Calame, Johnny Moss III, Jack Alvey, Laura Beth Boyd, Chet Chappelle, Christian Carne, Nancy Gantt, Jana Garner, Lynetta Hicks, Jacob King, Clifford Hunter, Harriett Foster, Tomeko McPhillips, George Patterson, Kim Smith, Charles Stough, Norm Trotter, Linda Walker and Dionne Williams.