Longtime educator, principal and community volunteer Shelley Jones will be a familiar face raising awareness for the 2020-21 United Way of West Alabama campaign.

As chair, Jones can use contacts and connections over 58 years living and working in Tuscaloosa to help explain the needs and functions of the United Way’s 26 member agencies.

“She’s so well-known, and such a dynamic person,” said Monique Scott, the campaign director.

In addition to being the face and voice, Jones has already begun chair duties by establishing a cabinet of three dozen community members, from bankers to educators to government officials to lawyers to automakers to dentists and more, all of them reaching out to help find the funds.

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Governor Kay Ivey has reappointed Donny Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and Executive Director of West Alabama Works, to the Alabama Workforce Council.

Formed in 2015 as an employer-led statewide effort to understand the structure, function, organization and perception of the Alabama workforce system, the Alabama Workforce Council facilitates collaboration between government and industry to help Alabama develop a sustainable, top-notch workforce that is competitive on a global scale. Since its inception, the Council has been committed to analyzing important issues related to workforce development and making sound recommendations that will help to create more and better opportunities for all Alabamians.

As director of West Alabama Works, Jones leads the team that supports the Region 3 Workforce Council. This regional workforce development system supports economic and workforce training activities throughout a nine-county area through both urban and rural outreach programs, and innovative initiatives.

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[Source: The Tuscaloosa News]

At a Wednesday Zoom meeting sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, representatives from Tuscaloosa city and county school systems clarified plans for Aug. 20 reopenings, reiterating the refrain that flexibility remains key, during the pandemic.

Prefacing the “Our Schools: Recovery and Reopening” meeting, which drew numerous questions and comments from those viewing, Chamber President and CEO Jim Page noted tough calls had to be made, and that no matter which way choices went, leaders are “damned if they do, damned if they don’t.”

A video recording is available for viewing on the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Superintendent for the Tuscaloosa City Schools Mike J. Daria spoke further about results of Tuesday night’s meeting, at which the city school board voted 6-2 to open with virtual-only education for at least its first nine weeks.

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The mission of the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation is to provide support and financial resources to enhance public education through a partnership with local school systems.

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