Educator Teacher Professional Development Career Training Cullman Area Workforce Solutions CAWS


Educator Exchange Program Resources
For more information about the Educator Exchange Program or to get involved, contact Tanya Shearer at 256-352-8143 or by email.

2014 Teacher Experiences
Area educators who have participated in the Educator Exchange Program are encouraged to share their experiences with others. Here is what some educators have to say:
  • As a work experience I requested to work with the Cullman Police Department and to my good fortune the request was granted. I visited with my contact professional, Lt. Craig Montgomery, a few days before the start of my journey. Lt. Montgomery was enthused, extremely cordial, and genuinely shared my excitement. From the first day to the last, I can say the experience was an adrenaline fueled, thought provoking, mind boggling blast.

    Read Johnny Burks' summary of his experience at the Cullman Police Department.

  • During my week at Yutaka, I was fortunate enough to have observed the many different sides of the general process that create silencers, catalytic convertors and torque convertors for Honda Automobiles. I observed how the different aspects were developed and planned in Engineering, Maintenance and Production. How Human Resources has the enormous task of finding all the great employees I had the joy of meeting. I learned that most employees do not have an automotive background. Employees arrive at Yutaka from other non-automotive manufacturing plants, private entrepreneurships closings due to shifts in the economy, new career paths after retirement and youth that are looking for their first career path or opportunity. I was moved by the excitement of the EHS folks and how they do not limit themselves to just the physical needs of the employees, but assist them with daily motivation as well.

    Read Lynn Bradford's summary of her experience at Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies, LLC.

  • The CAWS program was a great experience for me as a teacher. I will be able to explain to the children real life experiences as part of the hiring experience through Epsco. Also, I will be able to explain some of the programs offered at Wallace State Community College. At Wallace, I visited the success coaches, Student services, Business, Math, Nursing, Drafting, and Culinary.

    Read Kim Kanaday's summary of her experience at Wallace State Community College and EPSCO Staffing.

  • On my Teacher Exchange this summer, I spent part of my time at Wallace State Community College and another part at Epsco Staffing. As I began my 3 days at Wallace alongside fellow Teacher Exchange participant Sharon Wilborn, I wasn't sure that I would learn too much. I knew all about Wallace, right? Many of my students attend Wallace and I've been there numerous times... to cheer on our basketball team during tournaments, to congratulate our seniors at graduation, to bring our students to career fairs. I then came to realize that what I knew about Wallace revolved around Tom Drake Coliseum.

    Read Jennifer Carmack's summary of her experience at Wallace State Community College and EPSCO Staffing.

  • CAWS granted my request to go to Cullman Electric Cooperative and I learned much more than I had imagined that I was going to learned. Cullman Electric Cooperative serves over 41,000 member accounts, in four different counties, covering 12 towns. Cullman Electric Cooperative is on the forefront of innovated electricity suppliers. From an app that the members can use to track usage, to the high tech call center, Cullman Electric Cooperative leads the way. What I appreciated the most, was learning what a cooperative really is. It is all about the members. I was surprised to see, they don't call their members customers, but just that, members. I am grateful to Mrs. Gail Neal and Mr. Grady Smith, who took the time to teach me what a cooperative company is and how it came in to being. It is evident that Cullman Electric Cooperative is a great place to work and that it is like working with your family, for your family.

    Read Crystal Askea's summary of her experience at Cullman Electric Cooperative.

  • The Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS) is an excellent program that provides a partnership between the local area businesses and teachers. Teachers participate in a week long shadowing project experiencing different aspects and levels of a specific corporation. The goal is to impact classroom teaching through exposure to skills necessary to perform well in the workplace.

    Read Sherry Motes' summary of her experience at Standard Furniture.

  • I enjoyed a week of becoming a part of the Royal Technologies family the week of June 23- 27. I intentionally use the word family due to the environment that was tangible from my initial moments entering the doors of the immaculate facility hidden near the intersection of Highway 157 and 278. I pass the building every day on the way to school, and was unaware of its presence until my CAWS experience.

    Read Matt Norris' summary of his experience at Royal Technologies.

  • I was lucky enough to have the good fortune of spending my week at Cullman Regional Medical Center. I learned something interesting in every department that I observed. I also have a greater respect for these hard-working individuals who have dedicated their lives to making other people's lives better. – Melanie Haynes

    Read Melanie Haynes' summary of her experience at Cullman Regional Medical Center.

  • During the past week, I had the great pleasure of participating in the CAWS Teacher Exchange Program at the Cullman Electric Cooperative. During my week, I was informed of how a cooperative is conducted and the history of the Cullman Electric Cooperative. Mr. Grady Smith, President and CEO shared the history of the Coop and informed me that we had electricity in Cullman County for the first time in 1936. To become a member of the cooperative, each member paid $5.00. The membership fee in 2014 is still only $5.00. This ensured me that the Coop works for their members and is always looking for ways to keep cost to a minimum. Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Janice Neal worked with me and made me feel welcome throughout my entire week. She was a very cordial host. – Allison Tuggle

    Read Allison Tuggle's summary of her experience at Cullman Regional Medical Center.

  • I am the engineering instructor at Cullman Area Career Center, and this position requires a minimum of sixteen hours of technical update each year. This requirement is to insure that the instruction given in the classroom is not dated, but rather up to date and cutting edge technology. The CAWS Educator Exchange program has helped to fill this requirement for the 2014-2015 school year. I was blessed to be chosen to job shadow at Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies, LLC (ACYT). – Mike Gay

    Read Mike Gay's summary of his experience at Alabama Cullman Yutaka Technologies, LLC.

  • My philosophy of teaching is always being amended, made stronger blended with new ideas, innovations, and experiences. My experience at REHAU made possible by Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS) was outstanding! CAWS works as a partnership between business/industry, economic development, industrial relations, education, and social services in an effort to enhance and improve workforce development outcomes in meeting the employment needs of the Cullman area. In this unique professional development experience, as a teacher I became the student. – Sharon Wilborn

    Read Sharon Wilborn's summary of her experience at Wallace State Community College and Quality Staffing Solutions, Inc.

  • Through the CAWS program, I have been fortunate enough to work in a variety of industries. This year my placement was at Wallace State College and EPSCO Staffing Inc. Unique to my previous experiences, this year allowed me to understand how all the components of a community work in unison toward a common goal – preparing students for successful transitions into the workforce. – Selena Skipper

    Read Selena Skipper's summary of her experience at Wallace State Community College and EPSCO Staffing, Inc.

  • I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to participate in the CAWS Education Exchange Program. This was my first time to participate in this amazing experience. I can honestly say that it was one of the most valuable learning experiences of my entire 17 year career. My experience at Wallace State College and Quality Staffing Solutions gave me a clear insight into the education, skills, character, and discipline needed to be a successful college student and industry employee. – Kim Burleson

    Read Kim Burleson's summary of her experience at Wallace State College and Quality Staffing Solutions

  • The week that I spent at Cullman Regional Medical Center was absolutely wonderful. I am not from the area and before this week had not gone to the hospital before. After my week, as long as I live here I will trust the staff at CRMC for any of my medical needs. – Amanda Smith

    Read Amanda Smith's summary of her experience at Cullman Regional Medical Center (CRMC)

  • Spending a week as an Educator Exchange participant with The Cullman Times, I have a new found respect for the paper and the staff associated with the creation of the paper. Walking through the doors on that first day to be greeted by the Editorial Assistant, Sallee Chandler, I immediately began to feel welcomed as she started right off taking time from her daily writing assignments to tell me about the staff and each department. I realized as I watched her take phone calls from citizens of Cullman that her mission is to pay attention to detail and receive accurate information worthy of reporting. – Karen Rowell

    Read Karen Rowell's summary of experience at The Cullman Times

  • As a participant of the CAWS Educator Exchange Program, I spent three days touring the Wallace State Community College (WSCC) Vocational and Academic departments and two days with Quality Staffing Solutions, INC. Both experiences gave me insight to the current demands on young and older adults in choosing the right field of study to ensure they are vendible in the highly competitive job market. Through my observations I noted the skills and values that I believe to be significant in preparing students for college and careers. Among the most visible of these attributes are communication, both verbal and written, personal grooming, and career knowledge. As an educator of elementary students, my goal is to take this new learned knowledge and develop a curriculum that introduces and builds on developing a well-rounded student who will become a viable employee. – Sharon Wilborn

    Read Becky McDonald's summary of her experience at REHAU

  • I was again honored to be chosen for the CAWS Educator Exchange Program this summer. I was assigned to Topre America Corporation (TAC) this year. Topre makes a variety of parts for several companies in the automotive industry. Topre has expanded multiple times since it opened over ten years ago, so the corporation has now nearly quadrupled in size! – Connie Hilton

    Read Connie Hilton's summary of her experience at Topre America Corporation

  • I was able to visit with a number of departments in our County government in Cullman. I was impressed with how efficient our local government operates, they are understaffed and underfunded.   With that being said it was a wonderful experience. One of the many wonderful things I learned was that there is only a few people who operate animal control and they have to investigate all calls that are reported to them. They also follow up to make sure things are being taken care of in a timely manner. – Kevin Sullins

    Read Kevin Sullins' summary of his experience at the Cullman County Government offices

  • Cullman Area Workforce Solutions (CAWS) is a program created for teachers to experience life outside the classroom and inside the business industry in our city. Teachers from Cullman are exposed to various businesses and industries for one week where they see the operations of a business on a daily basis and then take those observations and apply them in their own classrooms. I was fortunate to be selected to participate in this summer program. – Sonya Mabrey

    Read Sonya Mabrey's summary of her experience at The Cullman Times

Contact Cullman Area Workforce Solutions CAWS
c/o Wallace State
PO Box 2000
Hanceville, AL 35077-2000
Click here to send an e-mail.

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