Work Ethic, Punctuality & Practical Skills

by | Aug 5, 2017 | Business, City News, County News, Cullman, Cullman City, Get Smart, Good Hope, Hanceville, Images, Interviews, People, Students, Videos

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Want to see Cullman have a truly booming economy?

Do you know the single biggest obstacle in preventing Cullman’s already prosperous community from thriving even more?

The folks at the Cullman Economic Development Agency (CEDA) spend all day, every day answering YES to that first question.

The staff at CEDA also continually work to help Cullman overcome that ‘single biggest obstacle’ among countless other activities that lead to growth, prosperity and a booming economic engine in Cullman.

What is that biggest obstacle?

It is employers in Cullman that are unable to find (much less hire) people with high character, necessary punctuality, an old school work ethic, the desire to reside in Cullman, make a great living and do something they love as an occupation.

With Cullman’s employment rate at a near historic high point, it is truly an ’employees market’ in 2017. The industry in Cullman is feeling the effects of that, not in a good way.

Business and industries all around Cullman County are willing to TRAIN qualified employees from the ground up (and pay them to learn on the job).

However, they can find few takers for these often high paying, technically skilled positions.

Making the obstacle even more challenging is the fact that many of the handful of people who do apply for these career opportunities bring serious issues to the employment table. Those issues include traits such as a dearth of remedial life skills, issues with being on time, the tendency to be slackers with diminished capacity for motivated effort and drive to succeed.

Also, graduates of local high schools – many of whom are excellent, top-flight employment prospects – do not always have an ‘educational match’ for what a particular business or employer needs in regards to skilled staffing.

With that as the back drop, Susan Eller and the staff of the Cullman Economic Development Agency have put together a massive, ground breaking initiative this week called the ‘Educators Industry Tour 2017‘.

Over 300 teachers, administrators, and support personnel from Cullman County and Cullman City Schools loaded up on 17 school buses on Thursday. They proceeded from a central gathering hub at Day Star Church and visited sixteen different industry sites around Cullman as well as Wallace State Community College. 20 volunteers and ten sponsors came along for the ride as well.

The overarching goal of the Tour allowed teachers and administrators to learn much more about the industries in Cullman than they ever imagined. CEDA wanted high school personnel to get a graphic, real work view of the kind of jobs available in our modern-day Cullman economy.

In this series of interviews following the Tours, you will quickly realize that many of these high school teachers and administrators had eye-opening experiences:

The school employees now understand the goal of Eller and CEDA in bringing together all the parties necessary to make Cullman’s economy boom with a focus on melding the minds, goals, and ambitions of the school officials and industry leaders.

The goal of a unified, comprehensive vision for guiding and teaching ALL Cullman area students in a secondary education settings the very most practical life skills they need to succeed in the modern day economy of Cullman is becoming ever closer to reality.

The Educator Industry Tour of 2017 took everyone a big step forward in that direction!

Many thanks to the following parties who agreed to participate in the interviews above:

T. J. Franey – Cullman County Schools
Kelly Lewis – Fairview Middle School
Jimmy Collins – Hanceville High School
Christine Wiggins – Wallace State Community College
Trina Walker – Fairview Middle School
DeAnna Chiaranda – Good Hope Middle School
Adam McGee – Holly Pond High School
Susan Eller – Cullman Economic Development Agency

Here is the roster of participating companies:

★ Advanced Heat Treat
★ Louisiana Pacific
★ Wallace Technical Programs Tour
★ Sequence Health
★ Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies
★ Cash Acme / Reliance Worldwide Manufacturing
★ Cash Acme / Reliance Worldwide Distribution
★ Royal Technologies
★ Cullman Cabinet
★ Webb Wheel
★ Topre America Corporation
★ Cullman Regional Medical Center
★ Perfection Chain
★ West Rock
★ Inland Buildings

image from: Susan Eller, Cullman Economic Development

Here is the roster of the many volunteers that helped execute this big event:

City of Cullman Economic Development Agency
Dale Greer
Susan Eller
Jamie Troutman
Stanley Kennedy

Cullman County Economic Development Office
Cherrie Haney
Ashley Graves

Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce
Peggy Smith
Ben Smith
Jackie Moore

Wallace State Success Coaches
Christine Wiggins
Julie Grimes
Susan Peek
Jill Strickland

Cullman County Board of Education
Shane Barnette, Superintendent
T.J. Franey

Wallace State Community College
Jimmy Hodges, Dean of Applied Technologies
Jamie Blackmon, Career Placement

Cullman Regional Airport
Ben Harrison

Alabama Career Center
Lisa Dickinson
Darby Dickinson

Cullman Area Technology Academy provided the buses. Daystar Church was the host location

Sponsors included:

  • Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies
  • Cash Acme / Reliance Worldwide
  • City of Cullman Industrial Development Board
  • Cullman County Industrial Authority
  • Cullman Electric Cooperative
  • Cullman Regional Medical Center
  • DayStar Church
  • Topre America Corporation
  • Wal-Mart Distribution Center
  • Wallace State Community College – Career Services
  • Webb Wheel
  • All Industrial Tour Participants

Cullman Economic Development Agency

image by Cullman Today

Work Ethic, Punctuality & Practical Skills Headline Massive Teacher Tour

Timothy Collins

Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at

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