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Tusk Industrial Supply Opens

We marked the opening of Tusk Industrial Supply on July 18 with a ribbon cutting. The company deals in industrial supplies and safety. Address is 2036 62nd Ave. in Tuscaloosa. Call Randy Holcomb at 205-366-1625 for more info.

2014 Back to School Sales Tax Holiday

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. (CST) on Friday August 1, 2014, and ending at twelve midnight on Sunday August 3, 2014, Alabama will hold its 8th annual sales tax holiday giving shoppers in Tuscaloosa County the opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, computers and clothing free of state and local sales tax. Not all cities participate but Tuscaloosa and Northport do. Be sure to shop local!

Click here for more info, including a list of approved items.

Registration Open for Bama Brew & Que

Got the best BBQ around? Here’s your chance to prove it! Register for the 2nd Annual Bama Brew & Que in Tuscaloosa, a KCBS Sanctioned Event being held Sept. 12-13. There will be a Professional Division and a Backyard Division. Event is sponsored by Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa or YP(t). Click here for an entry form. For more info, email or call 205-633-0279 or 205-469-2410.

Join Us on Washington Fly-In

As always, our schedule while in the nation's capital will allow time for interaction with our members of Congress as well as engagements with other elected officials. It's also an opportunity, unlike any other, to network with fellow Chamber members. This year, the agenda will include some fun time at a Washington Nationals baseball game. Make plans to join us Sept. 24-26! Email for details. Sponsors this year are Lewis, Smyth, Winter & Ford, Mercedes Benz, Merrill Lynch, Rosen Harwood and TTL.

Chamber Names Director of Workforce Development

The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama has announced that it has named LeNa` Powe as its Director of Workforce Development effective August 15, 2014. Powe will serve as The Chamber’s primary liaison to the Region 3 Workforce Development Council and West Alabama Works, of which the Chamber now serves as both managing and fiscal agent for. She will provide a central point of contact for any private or public entity seeking information and assistance with workforce training in the seven-county region. Powe will be responsible for building alliances and coordinating with local training providers, employment agencies, Chambers of Commerce, IDBs/IDAs, education officials and elected leaders.

Powe brings strong leadership and experience in workforce development, education and public policy to the Chamber. She most recently worked for the Birmingham City Council as a community liaison and external community affairs representative. In that role, Powe helped launch the Birmingham Live campaign to increase workforce development partnerships and opportunities in the City of Birmingham.
Prior to this, she worked for the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) as an education and workforce development project manager where she was responsible for marketing and managing signature workforce events, had oversight of workforce and student recruitment efforts, and coordinated educational outreach initiatives and partnerships. She also developed the Talent Recruitment Newsletter and managed the Talent Recruitment Project, as well as supported several workforce development projects under BBA’s Blueprint Birmingham strategic plan.
Before moving into the aforementioned role at BBA, Powe served as a project manager for minority and small business development for the organization.

Powe is a native of Birmingham and a two-time graduate of The University of Alabama, receiving a BA in Community Development and an MA in Communication Studies.

The list of honors and awards she has earned is impressive. Powe was named a USA Today All-American Team nominee, Second Runner-Up for the 2009 Miss Alabama Community Service Award, 2013 Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama Role Model Award and served as Miss Tuscaloosa 2007, among other honors.

Chamber President and CEO Jim Page said, “Ensuring that we have an adequately prepared workforce has become of critical importance to business and industry leaders throughout this entire region. It has long been a top priority for the Chamber’s Board of Directors, investors and local workforce development officials. The vision, experience and energy that LeNa` will bring to this effort on a full-time, daily basis will allow us to continue to put words into action. We are very proud to add someone of her caliber to an already outstanding team of professionals.”

Morning Pointe Named July Difference Maker

Geanie Livingston of Morning Pointe Tuscaloosa (assisted living) accepted our July Difference Maker award from Moody Radio's Greg Rogers at our mixer on July 8.

Morning Pointe Tuscaloosa provides exceptional service to seniors in our community through outreach efforts like its Adopt-A-Senior program, which provides food, clothing and household items during the holiday season as well as free Santa photos for the local Headstart program during this time. It also offers a free support group for seniors, families and caregivers dealing with Alzheimers and Dementia and works with the Alzheimers Assoc. to raise awareness, raise money and participate in the Memory Walk. In addition, it provides a training facility for Shelton State's Nursing program and volunteer opportunities for UA students as well as many other good works too numerous to mention. We're very fortunate to have this group in our community!

Together with Moody Radio, we recognize a group each month for making a positive difference in our community. Nominate a group today (even your own) at

PARCA Reports on Funding & Performance of our Public Schools

The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) provided new data and research regarding the funding and performance of the two school public school systems in Tuscaloosa County. The findings are interesting. Get the report here. For 25 years, PARCA has been an independent research organization that reports objectively on issues important to improving Alabama's state and local governments and public schools. This program was part of our annual State of the Schools event.

600 Attend Job Fair by New Workforce Group

We're proud of the Job Fair presented on June 14 for Bama Dining and others at the Tuscaloosa Career & Technology Academy (TCTA). The goal was to employ about 250 people with Bama Dining, which has grown tremendously along with the UA. Around 600 people came through!

The event was part of West Alabama Works, a new workforce development system housed at the Chamber, that works with other groups in the community to bring basic skills and literacy training to job candidates to get them hired.

West Alabama Works partnered with Alabama’s Ready to Work program, which provides job candidates with entry-level job skills, and PLUS Tuscaloosa, a community-wide effort administered at Shelton State Community College using trained volunteers to teach adults to read. People could also sign up for the GED program at Shelton State.

Through meaningful efforts like this, we hope to increase job opportunities for people throughout our region.

'Working as One' Commitments

The following will invest annually, over five years, funding the new economic and community development plan for our region! THANK YOU!

Logos for these companies are to the right.

Logos for these companies are also to the right.

AT&T; Aramark Campus Services; The Bank of Tuscaloosa; Bryant Bank; Expo Displays; Harrison Galleries/HFS Holdings; JamisonMoneyFarmer PC; Knight Sign Industries, Inc.; Merrill Lynch; Rumsey Environmental, UA College of Arts & Sciences; Yellow Book USA

UA Culverhouse College of Commerce

A&B Electric Co.; Advantage Realty Group, Inc.; Alabama Gas Corporation; Alabama Power Company; BB&T; Cintas; College Station Properties; Ellis Architects, Inc.; McGiffert & Associates, LLC; Pritchett-Moore Inc.; Sealy Furniture Company; Thompson Tractor Company, Inc.; TotalCom, Inc.; WAR Construction, Inc.; The WHMZ Group at Morgan Stanley; Ward Scott Architecture

Advanced Disposal; Alabama Credit Union; Alabama One Credit Union; Almon Associates, Inc.; BBVA Compass Bank; Boone Newspapers, Inc.; Buffalo Rock Company/Pepsi Cola; Community Service Programs of West Alabama; D.T. & Freight Company; Fitts Agency; Green Beverage Company; Harbin & Stough, PC; Jalapenos Mexican Grill; Moody Radio South; Parker Towing Company, Inc.; Robertson Banking Company; Spiller Furniture & Mattress; Southland Benefit Solutions, LLC; Tennis Jackson Electric Co., Inc.; TTL, Inc.; Tuscaloosa Credit Union; Tuscaloosa Teachers Credit Union; Walker Associates, Inc.; Way, Ray, Shelton & Company, PC; Walter Energy, Inc.; Which Wich Superior Sandwiches.

Barry Fikes Photography; The Builders Group of West Alabama, LLC; Chick-fil-A of Northport; Duckworth-Morris Real Estate; Friday Oil Company, Inc.; Hampton Inns of Tuscaloosa; Jessup, Ingram, Burns & Associates, LLP; Kyle Office Solutions; Lewis, Smyth, Winter & Ford, LLC; The Locker Room; Morrison & Smith, LLP; Metalsa; Renasant Bank; Rex Veron Design, LLC; Sentell Engineering, Inc.; Tuscaloosa Chevrolet, Inc.; Wilcutt Block and Supply Co.

Gilmore, Poole & Rowley; StressCrete, Inc.; Yeager & Christian, PC

2014 Engagement Opportunities

You can't just be a dues-paying member of the Chamber and reap the full benefits of membership. Click here to see a list of our current engagement opportunities like Adopt-A-School, Military and Veterans Affairs, Minority Business Council, E-Cycle Event, Leadership Tuscaloosa, Northport Advisory Council, Young Professionals, Ambassadors, Public Affairs Council and more. Email or call 205-391-0555 to get involved!

Member Marketplace

Be sure to market your business to more than 60,000 other Chamber member employees through our Member-to-Member Discount program and, at the same time, receive significant discounts on local products and services from other members. Click here for a form summarizing the benefits and guidelines of the program. Simply complete it and return it to us! Click on the logo to the left of this page to see a list of current offerings and how to take advantage of them.

Northport Citizen Award Nomination Forms Now Available

For over 35 years, the Northport Citizen Awards Dinner has celebrated outstanding leadership in the city. This year, the dinner will be held on Oct. 9 at 7p.m. at Five Points Baptist Church. Now is your chance to nominate someone for one of the awards. You can honor an individual by nominating them for the Citizen Award or choose a leader in the field of education, business, religion, public safety or a Northport historian. Think of someone deserving of recognition and take the time to nominate them today! Please be sure to read the criteria for the different categories. Nomination forms will be available on our website homepage soon. You can also call 205-391-0559 or e-mail to request a copy or get more info. Forms are due by Sept. 3.

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