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Black Belt Workforce Center to open in Demopolis Friday

West Alabama Works will open its Black Belt Workforce Center, which will serve as a career development hub for communities across the region, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning in Demopolis.

The group partnered with the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) Alabama Works and Central Alabama Works to bring career and employer services to the Black Belt.

“We knew that we needed to serve some of our most critical areas in Alabama by creating a center in the Black Belt,” said West Alabama Works Executive Director Donny Jones. “This is a place for both job hunters and employers to find resources to help them succeed.

The partnership between the three groups means that the center in the Black Belt will have a close working relationship with divisions serving the southwest portion of the state, as well as Montgomery and its surrounding counties.

The center will be similar to West Alabama Works’ Brookwood Workforce Center, which opened in 2017 and provides training for job seekers and employers, job application assistance, résumé help and a computer lab.

Black Belt Workforce Center Coordinator Tammi Holley said the center’s main focus will be on training and education, with leadership training courses already slated for January.

“In the long run, the more people we get to work the better it is,” Holley said. “We’re already doing a lot in West Alabama, it’s just those smaller counties where we don’t have much of a niche.”

Holley noted that the Black Belt is home to three of the state’s poorest counties and is therefore in need of the kinds of services the center will offer.

“The purpose of the center is to provide education and training for people across the Black Belt,” Holley said. “That’s our main objective.”