The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama supports multiple volunteer-driven entities designed to address specific community issues or the needs of particular demographic groups in the community.
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:
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.
The Chamber's Non-Profit Council strengthens the collaborative relationship between our local non-profit organizations and business partners, building capacity of non-profits in our community.
Providing a venue for non-profit organizations to network, exchange ideas, and collaborate, the Non-Profit Council aids organizations in receiving revenue, resources, and recognition.
Civic-minded women in West Alabama can enhance their leadership skills, contribute to the community, and fulfill their personal and professional potential through the Women's Leadership Alliance.
Originally founded in 1958 as the Women's Division of the Chamber, the group has always sought ways for members to contribute to charitable organizations. Today's WLA fosters opportunities for members to participate in education, collaboration, goodwill, fellowship, and personal growth.
The group holds lunch-and-learn style events, as well as annual charitable luncheons to benefit local organizations.
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.