On Monday, June 13th at 9:00 a.m., Council President Wardine Alexander will be joining representatives from Buffalo Rock and Lawson State Community College for an informational session about a free, four-week training program; a new workforce development pipeline between the aforementioned parties.
Last year, President Alexander was awarded a $75,000 grant through the organization E Pluribus Unum to help create workforce development opportunities in the community. She was one of 13 elected officials from the South that were selected for the fellowship.
Using these funds, President Alexander worked with Lawson State Community College and Buffalo Rock (both located in her district) to establish a new workforce development pipeline between the school and one of the area’s largest employers. This partnership was also made possible with the guidance of Nan Baldwin and Mark Brown of the Birmingham Business Alliance who helped bring the groups together and build relationships.
Participants in the free, four-week training program will receive forklift certification, weekly stipends as well as logistics and Ready-to-Work certificates. The goal is to create and strengthen a pathway for residents to join the workforce with one of Birmingham’s oldest and most iconic companies.
“The Buffalo Rock informational session is part of a major collaborative effort to increase workforce opportunities available in the Birmingham area and surrounding communities,” said Dr. James Gray, Workforce Development Manager, Lawson State Community College. “Once the four-week training begins, this opportunity will allow participants to receive Ready-to-Work and forklift certifications to create a qualified applicant pool for Buffalo Rock Company. Another great incentive is that we will provide weekly stipends that will increase until the completion of the training.”
President Alexander believes this new partnership can fundamentally change the way the City approaches workforce development.
“The average employee tenure within Buffalo Rock is more than twice that of the national average,” President Alexander said. “The employees I met during my trip had all been working with the company for years and love what they do. The goal has always been to address inequitable and discriminatory policies and practices within our communities. That is why it was crucial that we utilized this grant funding to tackle these issues through projects and community-led programs. I’d like to thank all our partners for their continued support. I look forward to creating more employment pipelines for our residents.”
Buffalo Rock Company is the nation’s largest single family-owned Pepsi and Dr. Pepper bottler. The company employs more than 2,300 employee-partners who service a population of more than seven million consumers throughout the Southeast.
“We are very excited to launch this four-week training program with Lawson State,” said Donna West, Buffalo Rock Corporate Executive Director Employee Experience & Team Building. “This partnership will provide high-quality career opportunities for individuals in our community, and will have a great impact for years to come. Our effort isn’t just to create jobs, but to create positive, life-changing careers.”
When: Monday, June 13th, 9:00 a.m.
Where: Buffalo Rock Company, 800 Lakeshore Parkway, Birmingham AL, 35211
What: Information session on new workforce training program