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Lawson State, Buffalo Rock Co. announce workforce partnership

By Ryan Michaels | The Birmingham Times

Lawson State Community College (LSCC) and the Buffalo Rock Company on Thursday announced a partnership that could allow students to have a direct line to future employment at the company.
Birmingham City Council President Wardine Alexander announced the program alongside business and school leaders at LSCC’s Birmingham campus, which is in her district 7.

Pairing Buffalo Rock, the Pepsi bottling company which was founded in Birmingham in 1901, with LSCC was a “no-brainer,” Alexander said.

“Buffalo Rock is an iconic company, located here in Birmingham, that is currently building another facility in district 7, that offers competitive wages, benefits and retirement programs to its employees,” said Alexander. “LSCC has innovative programs, experienced instructors and a commitment to student success, and it has been named one of the top five community colleges in the nation.”

The program will be funded by a $75,000 grant awarded to Alexander from E Pluribus Unum, an organization that focuses on addressing racial equity throughout the nation.

The program, which will begin no later than June 2022, will provide training and certifications to LSCC students, who will then be “put in line” for jobs at Buffalo Rock, Alexander said.

LSCC President Cynthia Anthony said the program fits LSCC’s mission because the institution is “dedicated to providing quality educational and training experiences [and] that is what we are about here at LSCC.”

She added that LSCC has a variety of “modalities” it uses to educate students and those different forms of training will be useful for the new workforce development partnership with Buffalo Rock.

“We will engage all of those pieces of modalities to ensure that this pipeline is successful, and that we are able to get our [students] into . . .  not just jobs, but careers,” Anthony said. “We want to develop a career pathway for these [students].”

Donna West, executive director for employee experience and team building at Buffalo Rock, said the company “looks forward to creating a candidate pipeline for life changing opportunities that will positively impact the people in the community.”

The partnership between Buffalo Rock and LSCC was put together by Mark Brown and Nan Baldwin, of the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA). The Alliance’s motto is “The greatest force for change is a job,” Baldwin said.

“When a person has a job . . . that leads to a career, that person can provide for their family, they can change the lives of their family and change the quality of life for generations to come,” Baldwin said. “They

This article originally appeared in The Birmingham Times.

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