Dateline: November 16, 2018, Athens, AL – On October 25 and 26, 2018, Athens State University faculty, staff, and students participated in the “Worlds of Work” event hosted by North Alabama Works at Northwest-Shoals Community College. During the two-day event, more than 3,000 eighth grade students and their teachers from Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin, Winston, Lawrence, and Marion counties enjoyed hands-on demonstrations and interactive activities while they engaged with professionals and higher education faculty to become familiar with a broad overview of high demand, high wage career opportunities available in the area. Career focus areas represented at the expo included agriculture, automotive, manufacturing, communications, construction, energy and utilities, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, public service, cyber/IT, and transportation. Athens State University was a silver sponsor for the event. “Alabama Works” is a network of interconnected providers of workforce services, including all of the governmental, educational, and private sector components that train, prepare, and match job seekers with employers.
Faculty supporting the two-day event included Dr. Wayne McCain, Dr. Lionel Wright, Dr. Michael Essary, and Professor Darren Waldrep from the College of Business and Dr. Bruce Thomas, Dr. Mary Beth Johns, and Melissa Irvin from the College of Arts and Sciences. College of Business students supported the event as well. Athens State University recruiting team members Nora Lee and Beth Rice represented the University at an evening event on October 25 for high school students and their parents. Dr. Jackie Smith, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. John Berzett, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Director of Business Operations for the College of Business, coordinated the Athens State University presence at the event.
“The event was the first of its kind at Northwest-Shoals Community College, and it was a great success,” stated Dr. John Berzett. “The faculty and staff of NW-SCC and the North Alabama Works staff were very appreciative of Athens State’s generous support of the event, both in terms of financial and faculty support. The faculty really enjoyed interacting with the students and making them aware of career opportunities and the options available to them at Athens State.” Dr. Jackie Smith stated, “This event was an excellent way to expose junior high and high school students to potential career pathways available in the North Alabama region. Employment opportunities in our area continue to evolve, and Athens State University is committed to providing a skilled workforce through certificate and degree programs such as logistics, health care management, and cyber security.”