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The aerospace industry is one of the key clusters in Southwest Alabama, and includes several of the largest employers in the region. This cluster employs highly-skilled workers in the region who earn above average wages. The aerospace industry bolsters the Southwest Alabama regions reputation as a leader in high technology and innovation.

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The manufacturing cluster in Southwest Alabama includes a wide range of advanced manufacturing companies. Process manufacturers in the region include leading producers of steel, chemicals, and paper related products. The region's skilled workforce supports manufacturing which directly employs over 25,000 workers in Southwest Alabama.

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Southwest Alabama supports a major maritime cluster, spearheaded by its renowned shipbuilding industry. The Mobile Bay gives the region a natural advantage to propel and sustain this highly competitive cluster. The maritime cluster includes not only shipbuilding, but port activities and the economic activity generated by water transportation enterprises.

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Southwest Alabama is home to a vibrant health care community that includes not only health care providers but researches and educators as well. The healthcare industry is a stabilizing force in the regional labor market that can stay strong and expand employment throughout the economic cycle. The healthcare cluster provides world-class treatment for residents in Southwest Alabama while also providing challenging and rewarding jobs.

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In a growing region like Southwest Alabama, the construction sector provides key support in the expansion of the infrastructure. Construction employed approximately 17,000 workers in the region in 2010. It is expected to grow quickly, adding close to 3,000 additional jobs over the next ten years. The construction cluster is an important cog in Southwest Alabama's economy as it continues to expand in size and diversity.

Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council (SAWDC) is an employer-established and employer-led non-profit organization whose mission is to develop strategic partnerships which attract, educate and train students and workers to better meet employer needs and foster economic growth in a global marketplace. With a vision to create a fully comprehensive, integrated workforce development system, SAWDC, one of thirty-two nationally designated National Fund for Workforce Solutions (NFWS) sites, has established four high quality workforce partnerships - a sound strategy modeled by NFWS for helping individuals obtain and advance in good careers while at the same time ensuring that employers have high-quality skills that are needed to compete in today's dynamic economy.

The four industry clusters - aviation, maritime, industrial construction/manufacturing, and healthcare - were chosen due to the high demand and high growth prospects for these industries.  With a dual customer approach, SAWDC convenes, organizes key stakeholders, and maintains persistent attention to the needs of the two main customers: employers and workers.  By engaging employers and other partners in identifying workforce needs, SAWDC aligns funding from various sources and brokers services that address the career advancement needs of employers and lower-skilled adults.

Click here to learn more about the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.



SAWDC: Five Years of Engagement with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions

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Click here to go to the

SAWDC Worlds of Opportunity website.

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