The seventh-annual Worlds of Work (WOW) Career Expo will bring industry leaders and education partners together with more than 4,000 students from west Alabama to Shelton State Community College this week.
“We’re giving students the opportunity to see the careers the West Alabama region has to offer. WOW can change a student’s career pathway for the better,” said Chamber of Commerce Chief Workforce Officer and West Alabama Works Executive Director Donny Jones. “WOW is like no other event we put on throughout the year.”
WOW kicks off Thursday, drawing ninth-graders from across the region from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. High school students and their parents are invited to WOW Varsity, a free continuation of the expo from 2-6 p.m., also at Shelton State Community College.
High school students will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with industry leaders and prepare for their careers. Students can pre-register here.
Jimmy Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, will deliver the keynote address Friday at the WOW VIP Breakfast in the gymnasium of Shelton State Community College. The breakfast honors sponsors, industry leaders, education leaders and elected officials who have supported WOW.
In addition to the Baker’s address, 63 educators will graduate from the Educator Workforce Academy at the breakfast. The Educator Workforce Academy is a year-long training program for educators in West Alabama, exposing them to workforce development and the region’s industries. Established in 2017 by West AlabamaWorks!, the academy is designed to eliminate the disconnection between industry and education, giving the region’s students the best chance possible for success.
The 2022-2023 graduates represent school districts in Demopolis City, Fayette County, Greene County, Hale County, Pickens County, Sumter County, Tuscaloosa City, Tuscaloosa County and ACCESS Virtual Learning. In addition, 53 top level educators will start their journey during the VIP Breakfast as part of the 2023-2024 Educator Workforce Academy program.
Worlds included in WOW are agriculture, construction, cosmetology, education, energy and utilities, engineering and environment, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing/automotive, public safety, and transportation.
For more information on WOW, including parent and educator resources, visit worldsofwork.com.