The Alabama Workforce Council (AWC) — comprised of business executives from some of the most important industries and organizations in the state of Alabama with the goal of facilitating collaboration between government and industry to help Alabama develop a sustainable, top-notch workforce that is competitive on a global scale — is seeing a transition of leadership.
Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday made the announcement and issued a commendation thanking outgoing Chairman Zeke Smith for his service.
“The Alabama Workforce Council seeks to analyze and understand issues that will help build a stronger, more sustainable workforce, thereby improving the lives of Alabama’s workers and their families by creating new employment opportunities in our state,” Ivey said. “Zeke Smith has been an integral part of that process as Chairman of the Alabama Workforce Council. His leadership has benefited employees and employers alike, as well as economy in our state, and I congratulate him on completing an outstanding term of service on the Alabama Workforce Council.”
Smith, Executive Vice President of Alabama Power, has served as Chairman of the AWC since its 2014 inception.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to work with this special group of leaders who are represented on the Alabama Workforce Council,” said Smith. “There are too many to call by name, but I hope that you know how much I appreciate each of you. Together we have made tremendous strides in raising awareness of state workforce needs and have taken action to create opportunities for those looking to build a career in Alabama.”
Ivey also welcomed incoming Chairman Tim McCartney, formerly of McCartney Construction. McCartney will be joined in leadership Vice Chairwoman Sandra Koblas with Austal USA.
Ivey challenged the AWC to focus on implementing the Success Plus plan – one part of her Strong Start, Strong Finish education initiative. The plan was developed by a committee of the AWC to address Alabama’s increasing need for workers with certificates, credentials, or degrees in addition to a high school diploma.
“I share the vision of the governor and believe that the Success Plus plan provides us a blueprint as a Council moving forward,” McCartney said. “I would like to ask each committee to adopt one of five priorities identified in the Success Plus plan as their committee focus moving forward.”
The AWC at work
Over the past four years, recommendations made by the AWC have resulted in the realignment of the state’s workforce structure, increased productivity of the regional workforce development councils, encouraged collaboration between the education and business communities, helped grow the number of career coaches in the state’s public high schools, developed a statewide AlabamaWorks! workforce brand, and established a statewide educational attainment goal.