Wallace State news roundup: CDL training, Showcase 2016 and a successful job fair

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From left, are Brandon Lindsey, Ethan Alexander and Brian Moody. They have each completed their CDL training through Wallace State’s program after enrolling at the Winston County Works site in Double Springs.

Wallace State's CDL training in Winston County produces first group of completers

Russell Moore

HANCEVILLE – Wallace State Community College has its first CDL (commercial driver’s license) graduates from the Winston County Works project in Double Springs. 

Students Brian Moody, Brandon Lindsey and Ethan Alexander have each earned their licenses through Wallace State’s CDL program in Double Springs, completing the certificate in four weeks.

“I saw an ad for the program in the Winston County paper (the Northwest Alabamian) and I called to check it out. I wanted to move and be closer to home, and I thought this opportunity seemed like a way to make a good living in Double Springs,” said Moody, 40, who moved back to Alabama after spending three years in Louisiana. “It’s been a great program for me, and I’m excited about the future.” 

Wallace State offers CDL training at its main campus in Hanceville in addition to opportunities in Blount and Winston Counties. The Winston County Works workforce project opened doors in Double Springs in early August, allowing students the opportunity to earn certifications and training in various classes, including CDL training. 

Moody, Lindsey and Alexander completed the majority of their classroom work at the Wallace State site in Double Springs and the truck training primarily in Hanceville, driving within a 50-60-mile radius around campus, completing tasks on main highways, the interstate and other select roads. 

Lindsey, 19, has always envisioned himself as a truck driver. 

“It’s in my family’s blood. My dad has driven a truck since I can remember, and I already have a job lined up in Trussville,” said Lindsey. “I’m glad I took the advice of one of my high school instructors and registered for the program. It’s a perfect fit for me.” 

Alexander, 20, is glad Wallace State has a stronger presence in Winston County.

“Wallace State wants to build the workforce in the county and that’s a good thing. There are a lot of people who want to know how to drive a truck, and this program is a great way to start,” Alexander said. “I think more and more people are finding out about the opportunities available.”

Ben Mantanane, Wallace State’s CDL instructor, is excited to see the CDL program to continue to grow through all three campus sites. 

“These three guys have done very well in the program. Their skills are excellent as far as their driving and maneuvering. They’ve all got a bright future,” Mantanane said. “We’ve seen good things from Winston County so far and we’re trying to get more students interested. You can have this program completed within four weeks and go start a career. There are a lot of jobs and opportunities out there for truck drivers. The employers who come talk to us all have different jobs they can offer. Most can meet the needs one may be looking for in this profession.”  

Evening and weekend CDL training is available through Wallace State’s program. Financial aid assistance is available. For more information, contact 256-352-7826. 

For more information about the Winston County Works options, contact Jamie Blackmon at 256-352-8461. 

 


More than 1,200 10th graders to visit Wallace State campus for Showcase 2016

Gail Crutchfield

HANCEVILLE – More than 1,200 10th graders from area high schools will visit the main campus of Wallace State Community College on October 11th to be introduced to the many programs they have to choose from as they begin making plans for their future. 

Wallace State’s Showcase 2016 marks the second year for the event hosted by the college and open to all 10th graders in the school systems encompassed within its service area. With the opening of the new Oneonta campus center this summer, that now includes more Blount County high schools. 

“We are extremely excited to welcome these students to our campus, so they may view all we have to offer here at WSCC, as they are beginning to consider their own careers, goals, and future plans,” said Doctor Beth Bownes-Johnson, Wallace State’s Dean of Academic Affairs. 

“Our goal at Wallace is to have students ‘Start Early, Start Right, Finish, and Succeed,’” she added. “This Showcase event is a step in assisting students in beginning early.  We are providing the opportunity to view all four meta majors first-hand: General Studies/Liberal Arts, STEM, Health Sciences, and Applied Technologies.  Students will view all of these programs, be provided with hands-on activities, and meet our outstanding faculty and staff. It will be especially helpful to students who have an interest in our Dual Enrollment or Fast Track Programs, which they may begin their junior year.”

The Showcase event will be held mainly in Tom Drake Coliseum, where every Academic, Applied Technology and Health Science program will be set up to provide students with information and answer any questions they may have. Student groups and organizations will also be on hand to share information on extracurricular activities offered at the college.

Current Wallace State students will welcome each school group as they arrive on campus and lead them through their time on campus. After a brief welcome at the Wellness Center, the students will go to the Coliseum to visit with the programs at their leisure. At the end of their visit, the students will be encouraged to fill out a quick four-question survey. Those who turn in the survey will have their name placed in a drawing for a one-course scholarship.

 


Students, employers appreciate getting chance to mingle at job fair

Gail Crutchfield

HANCEVILLE – For the employers, the job fair hosted Wednesday at Wallace State Community College was a chance to get their name on the minds of potential employees. For the students, it was a chance to get their names and faces in front of a potential employer.

About a dozen area employers were on hand at Wednesday’s job fair in hopes of adding a few new names to their company payroll. Stacey Frederick, operations manager of TJ Max in Cullman, said she had about 10 students express interest in the retail store located in the Marketplatz shopping center in Cullman. She said they currently have two regular positions open at the store and are looking to hire 18 more seasonal workers as the holidays approach. 

“We have a few college students who already work for us and we are real flexible in working around their schedule,” Frederick said. 

During the job fair, Frederick said she was able to spread the word about the store’s hiring event this weekend. Students who picked up applications on Wednesday can deliver those to the hiring event on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. or on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., along with any others looking for some work in the retail market. 

Kristi Graves, a recruiter for KAMTEK in Birmingham, was on hand to visit with students who are in search of jobs in the manufacturing sector. Graves said KAMTEK has a great relationship with Wallace State. The company, which manufactures parts for Mercedes, Volkswagen, Kia and Nissan, offers an apprenticeship for Wallace students. She added that she often calls on Wallace State instructors when they have a job opening. They are currently hiring for skilled trades right now, she said, maintenance technicians and tool and die makers.

Computer Science student Alexander Vega said he was glad to get the opportunity to attend the job fair. “I really like being able to get my name out there and get my foot in the door,” he said of the opportunity the job fair provided. 

The Wallace State Community College Alumni Association hosted the job fair and provided space for businesses to conduct interviews at the end of the day. For more information about future job fairs or Alumni Association events, please contact LaDonna Allen at 256-352-8071 or ladonna.allen@wallacestate.edu. For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu or call 256-352-8000. 

Wallace State Community College is ranked No. 2 in the South in workforce development and consistently holds outstanding licensure and job placement rates.

 

For more information about Wallace State Community College, call 256-352-8000 or visit www.wallacestate.edu.