Community Development

Community Development

The Chamber supports multiple volunteer-driven entities designed to address specific community issues or the needs of particular demographic groups in the community.

Education Policy Council

The purpose the Chamber's Education Policy Council is to help ensure continuous high quality education in Tuscaloosa County - and by extension in West Alabama - through communication, effective dialogue, collaboration, relationship building, integration of efforts and outcomes-oriented actions. The Council meets monthly and is comprised of business leaders, educators and elected officials. The Council's objectives are:

  • The Chamber will select Council members who are interested in education and who will commit their time and attention to issues and opportunities centered on advancing high quality education in the community for all children and adults.
  • The Council will create mechanisms within the Council: to enable it to explore the many facets involved in effectively serving the education needs of the community; to enable it to continually keep the lines of communication open to understand current conditions that help or hinder the achievement of high quality education at all level; to be able to receive new, creative, and innovative ideas and ways of expanding high quality education within all educational institutions; and to be able to advocate for proven ideas and best practices that will foster high quality education.
  • The Council will identify ways to encourage and achieve open communication and dialogue with all interested constituents of the educational entities.
  • The Council will develop strategies and performance indicators, through the utilization of data resources, for our community, available from Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA), Alabama Board of Education (BOE 20/20 Plan), Research and Outreach in the UA Culverhouse College of Commerce (Dr. Sam Addy's Research Department), and other data resources as applicable; that will help to determine when progress is or is not being achieved within the educational community.
  • The Council will include focus group participation when issues are identified to be beneficial to include participation and perspective from parents, families, teachers and other educators from our community.
  • The Council will monitor its own performance and evaluate itself against its vision and purpose statement

Contact:

Carolyn Tubbs
Director of Education
(205) 391-0556
carolyn@tuscaloosachamber.com

Military and Veterans' Affairs Council

While the West Alabama region may not include many active duty military personnel, it does include a significant number of National Guard and Reservists, and is home to over 80,000 military veterans. Beyond that, the region has a rock-solid tradition of support to our current and former military members and their families. And, Tuscaloosa is home to a 1,000-bed U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Recognizing the importance and the uniqueness of these current and former military members, the Chamber maintains an active Military and Veterans’ Affairs Council. This Council focuses on building strong ties between the business community and our military and veterans. It also focuses on local issues unique to the military and veterans community.

In addition to the military and veterans who permanently reside in the region, the local colleges and universities attract a significant number of younger veterans, many of whom have recently returned from war. In fact, in 2014 the University of Alabama was recognized as one of the top military-friendly universities by the Military Advanced Education Magazine. Even though this group of young veterans may be transient to our community, we, nevertheless, feel a strong level of commitment toward them. The Military and Veterans’ Affairs Council pays particular attention to this group.

Toward that end, the Chamber’s Military and Veterans’ Affairs Council sponsors an annual Military and Veterans Appreciation Event where the business community can introduce itself to, and show its appreciation for, our veterans. This event is normally held on a local campus to maximize participation of student veterans.

The Military and Veterans’ Affairs Council is an example of volunteers, many veterans themselves, working together to strengthen our community and improve the quality of life of veterans and their families.

Contact:

Alicia Gregory
Executive Assistant to the President and CEO
(205) 391-0561
alicia@tuscaloosachamber.com

Diverse Business Council

In 2012, the Chamber launched the Minority Business Council, but recently change its name to the Diverse Business Council. Although its mission is to foster the growth and competitiveness of minority owned businesses in West Alabama, DBC provides inclusive programming that is beneficial to a diverse workforce. The DBC's objectives are:

  • Provide a network of support that will help advance minority businesses.
  • Strengthen minority owned businesses through strategic planning and effective leadership.
  • Address educational, financial and business concerns of minority owned businesses.
  • Facilitate workshops and other educational opportunities for entrepreneurs to improve business skills, enhance knowledge, training and seek funding sources.
  • Assist in encouraging relationships and partnerships with all businesses to ensure sustainability and success.
  • Build a minority prospect base to be used as a recruiting source to fill leadership roles within the Chamber and other civic organizations.
  • Empower minority owned businesses, utilizing resources from the Chamber and local government, to improve the local economy.

Contact:

Carolyn Tubbs
Director of Education Programs
(205) 391-0556
carolyn@tuscaloosachamber.com

Young Tuscaloosa

Young Tuscaloosa is Tuscaloosa's newly-relaunched young professional organization for individuals between the ages of 21-40. Young Tuscaloosa's mission is to connect and network with other young professionals, engage with and serve the Tuscaloosa community, and develop leadership and professional skills in young professionals in Tuscaloosa.

For more information or to become a member, visit www.youngtuscaloosa.com.

Contact:

Kimberly Adams
Director of Membership and Investor Relations
(205) 391-0327
kimberly@tuscaloosachamber.com