Central Six AlabamaWorks! has announced members of the Leadership Council for Building (it) Together, an initiative aimed at aligning education, economic development and workforce development to increase job growth in the Birmingham seven-county region.
The comprehensive Building (it) Together report found a substantial misalignment in education, economic development and workforce development in the region, and the initiative seeks to unite the three areas with an eye on increasing not just the number of jobs in Birmingham, but citizens’ quality of life. Building (it) Together is co-led by the Birmingham Business Alliance and Central Six AlabamaWorks!
The newly announced Building (it) Together Leadership Council is as follows:
- Cynthia Anthony, Lawson State Community College
- Melanie Bridgeforth, Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham
- Keith Brown, Jefferson State Community College
- Paul Carruthers, Regions Financial Corp.
- Brandon Glover, Alabama Power Foundation
- John Hackett, KAMTEK
- Rachel Harmon, Birmingham Promise
- Waymond Jackson, Ed Farm
- Felyicia Jerald, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International
- Bill Jones, Retired (O’Neal Industries)
- Zhaundra Jones, Community Foundation of Birmingham
- Paul Kennedy, Walker Area Community Foundation
- Mitchie Neel, Blount County Education Foundation
- Sara Newell, United Way
- Ruffner Page, McWane Industries
- Jason Roberts, St. Clair County EDC
- Chandra Scott, Alabama Possible
- Sanjay Singh, Pack Health
- Andrea Smith, BBVA USA
- Tony Smoke, Alabama Power Co.
- Cornell Wesley, City of Birmingham
- Melody Whitten, 58 inc.
- Emily Wykle, University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Katherine Zachara, Innovate Birmingham
The Leadership Council will work with Building (it) Together as it moves into implementation of the plan.
Central Six also announced the hiring of Michael Bejarano, who has joined its team as Project Manager for Building (it) Together. As part of his work, Bejarano oversees the Leadership Council.
“This is just the beginning of the process for Building (it) Together, and to succeed we will need the full engagement of our business and community partners,” Bejarano said. “We are still actively recruiting business and industry and community and education partners for subcommittees to further support the strategies set forth by the implementation plan. Interested partners can contact me via email regarding subcommittee participation or visit our website to learn more about the initiative.”
Additionally, Bejarano is responsible for the implementation and management of Building (it) Together’s goals, including career awareness, upskilling, and talent attraction and retention in the region. Bejarano began his work with Central Six at the end of July.
“Michael’s deep expertise in leadership training, program design and workforce development made him an ideal candidate to continue to take Building (it) Together from ideation to implementation,” said Antiqua Cleggett, executive director of Central Six AlabamaWorks!. “We believe the Building (it) Together initiative has the potential to dynamically change the Birmingham region for the better, and I am eager to see how it will continue to blossom under Michael’s leadership.”
Karla Khodanian, manager of talent and higher education partnerships at the Birmingham Business Alliance, leads Building (it) Together’s talent attraction and retention subcommittee, and the Birmingham Business Alliance also leads research efforts related to the entire Leadership Council and Building (it) Together.