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Workforce forum targets training

Preparing future employees for the workforce is a daunting task and area agencies are working together to form a plan of action to help.

The Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council for Region 9 will meet Oct. 20 to present the second Escambia County Workforce Development forum.

The event, sponsored by the Greater Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce, Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce and the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority, begins at 10 a.m. at the ATN Center at Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton.

Marshall Rogers, director of the ECIDA, said the workshop would offer a chance for community leaders to learn the importance of educating workers for possible jobs coming into the region.

“It is imperative that we get young people ready for their future job opportunities,” Rogers said. “In order to do this, we must continue to work together with educators, business and industry, community leaders and officials to provide companies with a trained, skilled workforce. This meeting gives us the opportunity to be involved and to discuss workforce needs of the community.”

Wednesday’s forum will be a two-part meeting with officials from the Mobile Area Education Foundation and Southwest Alabama Workforce Development on hand as presenters.

An educational exchanged will be presented by MAEF officials and will cover topics including best practices for educational needs. The group will also present information on the process of engaging the community as well as work underway to improve high school graduation rates.

In the second portion of the presentations, Al Etheridge with SAWD, will speak on the “Worlds of Opportunity” program offered to middle school students across the region.

Etheridge will also present ideas for responding to an economic disaster.

Information presented will be responses gathered from forums held in the nine-county region earlier this year.

“We will also be discussing what has been learned during the oil spill recovery process in Mobile and Baldwin counties,” Etheridge said. “This will be an informative meeting.”

Rogers said members of the community from leaders and educators to concerned individuals are invited to attend the forum to learn and discuss ways to help create a strong workforce from the area.

To learn more about the SAWDA, visit their Web site at www.sawdc.com The Escambia County Industrial Development Authority’s Website can be found at www.escambiaida.com.