Council President Pro Tem Alexander using grant funding to create workforce development pipeline with Buffalo Rock
As of today, Council President Pro Tem Wardine Alexander has officially been awarded the $75,000 E Pluribus Unum (UNUM) Fellows Grant and her office is beyond excited to announce that funding will go towards creating a workforce development pipeline between Lawson State Community College (LSCC) and Buffalo Rock that will provide specialized training to fill jobs in the area.
“This is a huge opportunity, not for me personally, but for this community to see real transformative change,” Birmingham City Councilor Wardine Alexander said, flashing a high-wattage smile.
Last year, Council President Pro Tem Alexander was awarded a $75,000 fellowship through UNUM to address racial inequalities in District 7. She is part of the inaugural class of fellows and is the only elected leader selected from Central Alabama. This announcement is the culmination of those efforts.
The inaugural class of 13 UNUM Fellowship Cohorts was announced last year and includes a diverse set of Southern elected leaders, from rural mayors to suburban school board members to city councilors and big city mayors. This select group has embarked on a year-long journey to address inequitable and discriminatory policies and practices within their communities and utilized their funding to tackle these issues through projects and community-led programs.
“I’ve been in touch with neighbors and residents about how this funding could be utilized even before I began the application process,” Alexander explained. “An issue that kept being brought up and one I’ve sought to address in my time on the Council is community revitalization and economic opportunities for young people. That is a big part of what people are wanting to see.
“This workforce development pipeline will help ensure that our residents are ready to fill local jobs through a certified training program for these positions with Buffalo Rock,” Alexander continued. “This is something can bring about equity and empower our community and I’m so excited to announce this partnership with a local company.”
Evanne Gibson has lived in District 7 for 50 years and has served as a neighborhood officer for Germania Park for the last 15.
“With [Councilor Alexander] coming in and getting us involved, it just showed me how much she valued inclusiveness and fostering partnerships,” Gibson said of Alexander. “It just makes us feel like we’re part of something…having the ability to work with our city leaders and determine how this money can be used to improve the quality of life in our community is really empowering.”