Woods announces candidacy for commission seat

Published 7:08 pm Monday, September 28, 2020

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Dr. Jackie R. Woods, the Democratic nominee for Commissioner of Covington County District 2, believes that his education and work experiences and his commitment to serving the people would make him an effective commissioner for his district and for the county as a whole.

A native of Covington County, Jackie Woods was a member of the last graduating class of Woodson High School. For most of his adult life, he has either been in the workforce or has been helping prepare men and women to enter the workforce. After high school, he earned a diploma in welding technology from MacArthur State Technical College in Opp. In the years that followed, he earned many types of welding certification, including from the American Welding Society, Fluor Daniel, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the American Bureau of Shipbuilding.  In 1981, the late E.C. Nevin hired him to return to his alma mater to teach welding technology at MacArthur State Technical College, which is now part of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. While working full-time at MacArthur, he earned an associate’s degree from Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in vocational education from Athens State University. Later, while still at MacArthur, he earned from Auburn University a master’s degree in trade/industrial education, an educational specialist degree in adult education, and a doctorate degree in higher education administration. In 2004, Dr. Woods was inducted into Alpha Theta Chi Collegiate Honor Society for outstanding academic achievement and leadership at Auburn University. In 2011, he earned from the University of Virginia School of Continuing Professional Studies a graduate certificate in workforce development

In his teaching and, later, his administrative career, Dr. Woods focused on technology and industrial education in both the community college system and in the workforce. In 1998, the American Welding Society (AWS) recognized him as an outstanding instructor in welding technology by presenting him with the Howard E. Adkins Memorial Instructor Membership Award. In 2003 he received the Alabama College System Instructor Award of Excellence.  As a welding instructor at MacArthur State Technical College and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, he trained and moved into the workforce more than two thousand people. During these years, he also provided training and welding certifications for numerous employees already in the workforce so that they could maintain their jobs or qualify for promotions. For example, Shaw Industries hired him to serve as test administrator for maintenance technicians at its plants in Andalusia and in Bainbridge, Georgia. He was recognized for providing top-quality training and certification testing for the maintenance technicians at both Shaw plants. For several years, he also owned and operated a business, Woods’ Testing Lab, in Andalusia.

During his years at the MacArthur campus, in addition to teaching, Dr. Woods performed a number of administrative duties. For instance, in the early years, he served as the college’s evening director and security officer. In 1999, he served as a Career Technical Education Faculty Leader for revising local articulation agreements between secondary and post-secondary welding technology programs throughout Alabama. From 2003 through 2005, he was the activity director for a two-year state Model Tech Prep Grant that Lurleen B. Wallace Community College received. In this capacity, he met with local high school welding and agri-science teachers to revise task lists in the Alabama Course of Study so that they would align with AWS skills standards. This project was aimed at assuring that dual enrollment programs were meeting nationally recognized. industry–based articulation agreements for welding instruction.  Finally, from 2004 through 2007, he was LBW’s recruiting coordinator for technical programs.

From 2004 through 2007, as Quality Control Manager, Dr. Woods led LBWCC to become a certified AWS test facility, at that time one of only three certified test facilities in Alabama. Using QC7 Standards for AWS Certified Welders, the LBW facility earned the authority to issue AWS Certifications to any customer seeking employment or already employed in business who could demonstrate the ability to deposit sound welds. The AWS Test Facility at the MacArthur Campus was used to manage welding operations that led to increased employment for students as well as improved quality and productivity in the industries the facility served.

In 2007, Dr. Woods retired from Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Soon afterwards, the Division of Workforce Development at Bishop State Community College, in Mobile, hired him as a professional consultant. In this capacity, Dr. Woods consulted with and guided the workforce team as it determined best practices for evaluating and credentialing craft workers in the Central Gulf Coast area. The strategic plan was to ensure a long supply of skilled workers, ready to produce the high levels of quality that Bishop State’s industrial partners expected.

Between 2011 and 2018 Dr. Woods served as Department Chair and Quality Control Manager of the Engineering Department at Forsyth Tech Community College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As chair, he partnered with colleagues in the Engineering Department to develop a comprehensive advanced manufacturing center.  He helped to integrate automation into welding and soldering technology classes, opening ways to connect these courses with programs such as Industrial Systems and Electronic Engineering Technology. Under his leadership, the Forsyth Engineering Department adopted the American Welding Society Standards for assessment and credentialing and became one of two North Carolina community college AWS testing facilities. Dr. Woods’s leadership skills, his knowledge of technical education, and his ability to collaborate made him a valued part of the technical education team at Forsyth Tech Community College. He retired from Forsyth in December 2018.

As his success in workforce training suggests, Jackie Woods has long been committed to helping people learn skills that will make for better lives for themselves and their families. His work on some significant committees outside his career also reflect this commitment. For example, he served for a time on the City of Andalusia Planning Commission, listening to the concerns of fellow citizens as he and the rest of the commitment did some long-range planning for the city. Currently, he is a member of the South-Central Alabama Mental Health Board. As a member of this board, he brings a spirit of creative problem-solving and fiscal responsibility to the oversight of this vital health service.

Dr. Jackie Woods is now seeking an opportunity to serve as county commissioner for District Two. He believes that he has the required experience, commitment, and leadership skills to help improve the overall management of operations in Covington County.

In his view, the changes he envisions will have a positive impact in District Two and throughout Covington County. He wants (A) to look for ways to attract new industries to Covington County, (B) to evaluate all outsourced services for their quality and cost, (C) to increase grant writing within the system to generate more funds for the general budget, and (D) to prioritize in future financial plans a cost-of-living raise for all county employees except county commissioners.

Dr. Woods said he understands that real change for the citizens of Covington County can only occur when their primary needs, values, and interests are in the hearts of those who make the decisions and set the policies. He is humbly asking for your vote and support for County Commissioner, District Two. His wife, Beverly Woods, and their children support his objectives 100 percent.