• UWA launches training program to increase employment opportunities in Black Belt

    Posted: August 20, 2013

    Author: Betsy Compton

     As part of its efforts to improve employment opportunities for Black Belt citizens, the University of West Alabama has launched its Applied Manufacturing Technology Certification Program. With successful completion of the program, students will earn the credentials of Automotive Technician Certification and Industrial Maintenance Certification.

    The program orientation took place on the UWA campus in Kelley Land Hall, with UWA President Richard Holland, Outreach Services Director Kenneth Walker, and Center for Business and Economic Services Director Billy McFarland welcoming the first cohort of 39 students.

    These certifications are tailored to the manufacturing industry and will place candidates on a career pathway to job placement. UWA has partnered with Alabama Power Company and other business and industries throughout West Alabama to ensure participants are trained according to the industry’s needs.

    The training program is a major step in UWA’s initiative to serve the workforce needs of the Black Belt region by providing highly-qualified skilled workers to regional industries, a vision of UWA President Richard Holland.

    “Our institution has planned for some time now to be able to provide this type of industry training to our citizens, and this program is the beginning of what we think will be a tremendous increase for employment opportunities in the Black Belt,” Holland said. “Not only will we open doors for new industries who will consider our area for locations, we will make it possible for people to secure employment in jobs where they will receive higher compensation than they would without this training.”

    “The two-fold benefits of this certification program will be seen in a relatively short amount of time, as these participants will be ready to enter the work force in one year or less,” Holland explained. “Even better, the results are far-reaching and will serve our region for many years by greatly enhancing area industries and their ability to employ a greater number of our citizens for many years to come.”

    “The Manufacturing Technology Training Program provides us with a unique opportunity to bring much needed job skills in the area of manufacturing to the residents of the Black Belt,” said Veronica Triplett, program coordinator.

    The University has plans to enhance the program by offering additional training and preparation opportunities for workforce development. The certification program is part of the $2.19 million U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration grant that Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis awarded The University of West Alabama in September, 2012.

    For more information on UWA’s Manufacturing Technology Certificate Training program, contact Stephanie Hyche, Program Officer, at (205) 652-5459.


    UWA President Richard D. Holland (front, center) welcomed 23 students to the Industrial Maintenance program and 16 to the Automotive Technician program as part of UWA’s workforce training initiative. Those pictured include:


    Christine Amerson

    Resha Amerson

    Mary Atkins

    Sassie Atkins

    Terence Bell

    Donald  Bordeaux

    Eddie Boyd

    Demario Brown

    Kendal Bryant

    Sidetrius Clayton

    Vanessa Cosby

    Trinesa Davis

    Kenya Edwards

    Timothy Hibbler

    Michael Huth

    Dominique Jenkins

    Hawatha Lewis

    Jonathan Lewis

    Joseph Mann

    Lakithia McMullen

    Brandon Meriweather

    Fred Moore

    Ronnie Newton

    Rachel Owens

    Nicholis Pelt

    Alondra Polk

    Ronald Reaves

    Donta Reaves

    Brentt Simpson

    Bryant Snyder

    Tony Speight

    Keith Taylor

    Laporsha Vawters

    Danshelle Vawters

    Brandon Walker

    Jeremiah Ward

    Lashon Washington

    Tredonte Wilson

    Cordell Young


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