Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council

The Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) is a regional workforce collaborative serving an eight-county region in Southwest Alabama. SAWDC seeks to develop a comprehensive, integrated workforce development system to create a skilled, diverse, and adaptable workforce that meets the needs of employers and improves the lives of citizens. To achieve this goal, SAWDC operates four industry partnerships in aerospace and aviation, maritime, industrial construction/manufacturing, and health care, which were chosen due to the high demand and high growth prospects for these industries. With a dual customer approach, SAWDC convenes, organizes key stakeholders, and maintains persistent attention to the needs of the two main customers: employers and workers. By engaging employers and other partners in identifying workforce needs, SAWDC aligns funding from various sources and brokers services that address the career advancement needs of employers and lower-skilled adults.

Sector Focus

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Aerospace & Aviation
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Industry Partnerships

Aviation and Aerospace Industry Partnership

SAWDC convenes a partnership of local aviation manufacturers on a quarterly basis to collectively address a number of labor issues, including a lack of qualified candidates in the region, the development of programs to teach professional skills, the creation of industry-vetted composites and composite training courses, and the advancement of leadership and project management skills in the aerospace sector. The Partnership provides project coordination, case management, and tracking services, and since its inception it has developed and implemented programs in basic composites, advanced composites, and leadership/project management training.

Central Gulf Industrial Alliance (CGIA)

Due to the high demand for skilled labor and industry growth, SAWDC coordinated and implemented the CGIA Welding Training Program to develop and implement a systematic and comprehensive program to recruit, train, and manage new entry-level craft professionals for employment by the industrial construction and manufacturing employers of CGIA. SAWDC provides project coordination, case management, and tracking services, and partners with CGIA to promote manufacturing and construction careers, develop industrial construction workforce development programs, and use the CGIA Industrial Training Program Review and Endorsement Program to ensure that all training programs are meeting industry standards .

Health Care Industry Partnership

The Health Care Industry Partnership works to develop the region’s rural and urban health care workforce. SAWDC supports the Partnership by providing project coordination, case management, and tracking services. In an effort to extend opportunity to hard-to-reach populations, particularly low-income and low-skilled jobseekers, the partnership has noticed industry demand in new areas and has exported its certified nurse assistant (CNA) training program to rural communities. Additionally, over a three-year period SAWDC coordinated eight incumbent worker training programs for CNAs and nursing assistants without certification.

Maritime Industry Partnership

SAWDC supports the Maritime Industry Partnership by providing case management and client tracking at the Maritime Training Center, offering pre-employment coordination and client management, operating post-employment tracking of Austal’s nationally certified A Class Journeyman Program, and coordinate incumbent worker training programs that significantly advance the skills of incumbent craftsmen and allow maritime manufactures to “hire down and skill up.”

Collaborative Contact

Bridget Wilson Director