Dothan’s chamber of commerce celebrated three area businesses for investing in workforce development despite ongoing recruiting challenges.
Owners of Cook’s Saw Manufacturing in Newton, Dothan’s Eagle Eye Outfitters, and Townsend Building Supply based in Dothan receiving inventive plaques honoring them as 2021’s Business Workforce Development Champions on behalf of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and Southeast AlabamaWorks!
“Today we stop to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and businesses that have refused to throw up their hands and say ‘It can’t be done,’” Delvick McKay, DACC chairman, said at an award ceremony at the chamber on Wednesday. “Instead, they found a way and dedicated the time and dedicated resources in spite of the pandemic.”
Different presenters detailed each company’s efforts in recruiting, retaining, and training today’s workforce.
Presenter Ann Marie Carr, executive director of the Southeast AlabamaWorks! Regional Workforce Council, said that Cook’s Saw Manufacturing has offered numerous individuals a second chance at life by offering careers to those who often overlooked by employers.
“They’ve met the challenge of securing employment for those involved in the justice system or those with unseen battle scars, abuse, addiction,” Carr said. “They’ve trained generations both young and old how to weld, how to fabricate, how to offer exemplary customer service, but most importantly, they taught them what integrity, work ethic and compassion for your fellow man looks like.”
McKay lauded Susan and Mark Anderson, owners of Eagle Eye Outfitters, for piloting the first work-based cooperative education program for high school students.
“Eagle Eye has championed workforce and economic development and in their own words, Mark and Susan have remained dedicated to empowering and developing people, solving tough problems and helping careers flourish, inside and out,” McKay said.
Townsend Building Supply, a third-generation family-owned business, was similarly praised for developing a stable and invite workplace culture by utilizing the services of Southeast AlabamaWorks! to develop career pathways at its expanding business and offering competitive wages.
The company invests in the local education system by offering feedback on training courses designed for its industry and assisted individuals that have little to no experience by partnering with the Dothan Career Center to provide on-the-job training for youth and adults.
Wednesday’s event marks the second round of workforce development awards, a tradition that began in 2019, but paused last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dean Mitchell, DACC’s executive director, said it will continue to be an annual event.
“We know that workers are the backbone of every business, from small businesses to large manufacturers, so it’s just an opportunity for us to celebrate success and say ‘thank you’ for their commitment,” Mitchell said.
Sable Riley is a Dothan Eagle staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334.712.7915. Support her work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com.